When leaders are afraid to try new things, the reason usually boils down to a lack of trust. One Sprint call center had rules for everything, from how its agents dressed to how they sat (even though no one on the other end of the line could see them).
Faced with low morale and plummeting employee retention, the leaders took a leap of faith, inspired by The FISH! Philosophy. They relaxed the dress code and added “out-of-the-box” ideas (piped-in music, disco ball, spontaneous goofiness) to make the workplace more fun and give employees a break from the repetition of answering up to 800 calls per day.
These and other changes sent a clear message to the employees: We trust you to do your job. Despite worries about the changes, service levels remained high and retention rose.
The lively environment you see in this program may not be appropriate for every workplace, but the lessons are applicable to every team and every leader. Sprint demonstrates that Play isn’t just about adding goofy activities—it’s about listening to employees, building trust and trying to find creative ways to help people do their jobs more effectively.