In the current competitive business environment, organizations have realized that the only way to be successful is to have a team of dedicated employees who are always willing to go the extra mile in meeting the demand of customers. Various approaches to maintaining a pool of motivated employees have been proposed by scholars who have been researching this field. Most of the approaches that have been proposed are leader-centric.
This means that they are the approaches that only leaders can implement to help create a pool of motivated employees who are willing to collaborate to ensure that the performance of the organization is improved. Recently, researchers have been focusing on developing approaches that are employee-centric. These approaches are to be carried out by the employees while carrying out their normal tasks.
A number of strategies have been proposed, one of which is the fun in the workplace strategy. Fun in the workplace has been considered one of the most important tools that can be used to influence the employees’ motivation, job satisfaction, collaboration, and performance improvement. In this study, the focus is to determine whether the idea of fun in the workplace can influence the employees’ motivation, job satisfaction, collaboration, and performance, and to explore how fun in the workplace may contribute to increased employee productivity and organizational performance.
As stated previously, this research will take a hybrid approach which means that it will use both qualitative and quantitative data. The ten participants in this study will be the employees and managers of a specific organization who will be willing to participate in the research. Their selection will be done through a stratified sampling strategy, and the questionnaires will be mailed to the selected participants.
According to Lauby (2005), using a questionnaire when collecting data, is one of the most reliable approaches of obtaining the most verifiable information from the field. The fact that the response obtained from the participants is in a written form makes it possible to store such information for future reference. Developing a questionnaire can be a complex process, especially if the data that is to be collected is relatively large and specialized. Lauby (2005) notes that care should always be taken to ensure that irrelevant data is not collected. This would require the researcher to understand the process of developing the right questions for the research as discussed in the next section.
Developing research question used in the study
According to Patton (2005), conducting research is a complex process that involves investigating issues, some of which may be completely new to the researcher. Similarly, a researcher will need a plan that would help in the entire process of data collection. Punch (2013) observes that when collecting both the primary and secondary data, a researcher will always encounter massive information, some of which may be irrelevant but very interesting. Without a clear plan, a researcher would easily be swayed into analyzing such misleading data that may result in misleading information after the analysis.
The research questions seek to solve this problem. The question gives a clear focus of information that should be gathered both from primary and secondary sources. With very clear questions, a researcher will need to ensure that the data collected is a direct response to the overall focus of the study. This will not only help in eliminating time wastage but also create an avenue through which the researcher will only gather specific information that is relevant to the research. As mentioned previously, the study will involve both qualitative and quantitative data analysis. The research questions used in the process of data collection must reflect this.
Research questions for quantitative methods
In this research, it was considered necessary to have quantitative methods of research in order to support this empirical study. According to Creswell (2013), statistics in a piece of research is always important in enhancing the credibility of a report to the individuals who may need to use it for various purposes. When using facts and figures, it becomes easy to explain a given phenomenon to a given audience. The researcher developed two quantitative research questions.
The first question is focused on determining the view of the respondents about the relevance of fun in the workplace strategy in motivating the employees within the workplace. The researcher wanted to quantify the response in order to determine the percentage of those who share a similar belief. Scholars have argued that this strategy is one of the best ways of eliminating stress among the employees and promoting teamwork (Creswell, 2012). It is important to verify this information in order to ensure that the recommendation made in the study is supported by empirical research. The following is the first quantitative research question.
Q1. How often has fun in the workplace acted as your motivating factor in your current or past workplaces?
- Most of the time
- Half the time
The respondents will be expected to tick any of the five responses in regard to how they feel about the relevance of fun in the workplace in promoting employee motivation. The data that will be used at this stage will be obtained from primary sources. The filled questionnaires will be analyzed in order to determine how the respondents responded to the question. The researcher developed a research hypothesis based on how the secondary sources of data have responded to this question. The following null hypothesis was developed in light of the questions and how researchers have responded to them.
H1o. Fun in the workplace has not acted as a motivating factor in my current and past workplace.
Based on the information from the secondary sources of data, fun in the workplace has always acted as a motivation factor. It is expected that the respondents will affirm that fun in the workplace has always acted as a motivating factor in their workplaces. The researcher expects that the null hypothesis above will be rejected in order to accept the alternative hypothesis below.
H1a. Fun in the workplace has always acted as a motivating factor in my current and past workplace.
The second quantitative research question in this study focused on determining the relevance of fun in the workplace strategy in improving the employees’ productivity and organizational performance. According to Ary (2013), organizations that have implemented this strategy have experienced an improvement in the productivity of their workforce and that of their organization. The following research question was used.
Q2. How relevant do you believe that fun in the workplace strategy is increasing the employee’s productivity and organizational performance?
- Very relevant
- Quite relevant
- Has some reservations
- Completely irrelevant
As shown above, this structured question will enable the respondents to rate the relevance of this strategy in promoting the employees’ productivity and organizational performance. Those who are strongly in support of the strategy as a means of promoting productivity will be expected to rate it as extremely relevant, while those who are strongly opposed to it will be expected to state that it is completely irrelevant. The responses from all the participants will be collected in order to determine the view of the majority. At this stage, the reason behind the decision of the respondent may not be important. Of importance will be their ratings. Their view will be captured in the section below that focuses on qualitative research. The researcher developed the following hypothesis based on the above research question.
H2o. Fun in the workplace strategy is not relevant in increasing the employee’s productivity and organizational performance.
Based on the findings made on the available secondary sources, the researcher expects that the above null hypothesis will be rejected. The information from most of these sources emphasizes the importance of this strategy in motivating the employees, the fact that has a direct impact on their productivity and the general success of the organization. The sources also note that this strategy eliminates bureaucracy within the organizations and promotes teamwork. It makes it easy for the employees to understand themselves and interact with their leaders. For this reason, the researcher expects the following alternative hypothesis to be accepted.
H2o. Fun in the workplace strategy is very relevant in increasing the employee’s productivity and organizational performance.
Research questions for quantitative methods
Qualitative research was important in this study to help in the description of certain phenomena in this study. Developing questions that are qualitative in nature provide the respondents with a platform to explain why they have a particular view about the use of fun at work strategy to motivate the employees, promote teamwork, boost employees’ productivity, and boost organizational performance. The use of open-ended questions will enable the respondents to give their independent thoughts about the topic of the research. This will be a perfect platform to get different views of people with respect to the use of fun at the workplace. These are the points that will be mentioned in the report when explaining why this strategy is good, or why the strategy is ineffective, and therefore, should be avoided. The following qualitative research questions were used in the research.
In the first question, the focus was to determine if the idea of fun in the workplace can influence the employees’ motivation, job satisfaction, collaboration, and performance. Employee motivation, job satisfaction, and employee collaboration are factors that play important roles in boosting the output of the employees and the performance of the organization.
- Q1. Do you believe that the idea of fun in the workplace can influence the employees’ motivation, job satisfaction, collaboration, and performance?
The second question in this section is very important because it seeks to determine why organizations are slow in implementing this strategy that some scholars consider very effective.
- Q2.Why is it that most organizations are slow in the implementation of fun in the workplace strategy despite its obvious importance?
Response to this question will help the researcher to determine the reason behind the slow pace at which firms are willing to implement this strategy.
Lauby, S. J. (2005). Motivating employees. Alexandria, Va: ASTD Press.
Ary, D. (2013). Introduction to research in education. New York, NY: Cengage Learning.
Creswell, J. W. (2012). Qualitative inquiry and research design: Choosing among five approaches. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage publications.
Creswell, J. W. (2013). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Patton, M. Q. (2005). Qualitative research. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Punch, K. F. (2013). Introduction to social research: Quantitative and qualitative approaches. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.