Last weekend I read an interesting article in the Baltimore Sun Business Section on the Ping Pong Culture. In the 90’s there were many instances when I visited clients, there was a ping pong table either in a break room and sometimes out in the open. The idea was for employees to take breaks and play a game of ping pong. I loved the idea and thought it was innovative.
As time went on through the 2000’s I saw more and more creative games showing up in work places. It was common place for a company employed with Generation X’ers often had some type of interesting tool for employees to blow off steam. I loved it and always wished for an office space large enough to house a ping pong table or something cool.
Here I am in 2015 with the space to have it yet I can’t tell you that my employees will be happier people or give better customer service after they played a few games of ping pong. I’m fascinated by these types of offerings within companies yet I think people want to be heard, to be respected and to be acknowledged for good work as well as receiving constructive feedback that could inspire them to make a difference.
I thought I was behind the times or maybe not big enough of a company to have games on site. My newest idea is a 1950’s juke box with a variety of music that everyone would like. That’s the plan in 2016. I think getting people together outside of work to do interesting things really makes a difference, taking an interest in employees and showing them that they matter still can be a lost art. That’s the art I really like. Bringing heart centered leadership goes much farther than a ping pong match, I think. Maybe I’m wrong.
There were times we did cool stuff over the years but all it took was a toxic person on the team and no matter what we did, the elephant never left the room. Thank God those days are over because even now when we sit having interesting conversation over Starbucks, the fact that we have a no-toxicity workplace, every one of us is very balanced and very happy. Our team thrives and we take care of each other while doing our best. While that’s not a ping pong table or a pinball machine, it’s a slice of peace.