How Much Fun Can Your Workplace Handle?

Rachel Nuwer relates the findings of a recent study:

Researchers at Penn State University decided to investigate employee retention after hearing complaints about high turnover rates in the hospitality industry. … The researchers interviewed 195 servers from an unnamed but popular U.S. restaurant chain to get their take on this issue. The researchers compared the servers’ descriptions of how much fun they had at work and how pro-fun their managers were—including whether they threw company parties, hosted good-spirited sales competitions and acknowledged employee birthdays—with each restaurant’s sales.

Fun-loving managers, it turns out, have the highest employee retention rates. But they also suffer from overall lower sales performance. If employees were broken down by age, however, the data show that older employees actually increase their sales performance at funner jobs. Younger workers, apparently, are less adept at balancing a work-play mix than older ones.