It's right there in Winans Construction's core values: "Everyone should have fun and look forward to coming to work and enjoy the challenges that work brings," says Nina Winans, co-owner with Paul Winans of the Oakland, Calif., company.
To make weekly meetings more fun—and more memorable—the Winans have incorporated a series of rotating activities for each of their Monday companywide meetings.
"The first Monday of the month we'll have an employee manual quiz, and the next a field manual quiz," says Nina, who asks quiz questions out loud and gives out the "assignment" for the following week. Prizes are awarded at the end of the year for high-scorers.
On the third Monday, employees write down suggestions, which are then voted on by all the employees. The person whose suggestion gets the most votes received $20. "That doesn't necessarily mean we implement that one," Nina says. But over the six years since Winans Construction instituted this practice, many suggestions have been implemented by the company, such as updating uniforms and finding a cardboard recycler.
At the final monthly meeting, employees share relevant articles from books and magazines.
"Even though we have an agenda," Nina says, "there's a social aspect to the meetings, which makes them lighter and a fun way to do business."