Does Fun Pay? The Impact of Workplace Fun on Employee Turnover and Performance

Michael J. Tews, John W. Michel, Kathryn Stafford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


This research demonstrated that fun in the workplace has both beneficial and potentially negative effects on employees in the hospitality industry. This research focused on the impact of fun activities and manager support for fun on employee performance and turnover. Fun activities include such endeavors as productivity contests, social events, teambuilding activities, and public celebrations of work achievements and personal milestones. In turn, manager support for fun reflects whether managers in general allow and encourage employees to have fun on the job. With a sample of 195 servers from a national restaurant chain, we found that fun activities had a favorable impact on performance and manager support for fun had a favorable impact in reducing turnover. Interestingly, manager support for fun had an adverse impact on performance. Thus, whether fun ultimately is beneficial depends on the type of fun and the desired human resource outcome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)370-382
Number of pages13
JournalCornell Hospitality Quarterly
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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