5 Ways to Put Fun into Your Direct Sourcing Program

By MBO Partners | September 22, 2023

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Key Points

Research has shown that fun is a strong component of well-being, which is key to productivity.

Fun supports well-being, which is a key driver for independent professionals.

Including fun as an element of your direct sourcing program can be a powerful competitive differentiator that attracts high-value independents.

Is your workplace fun?

While many enterprises don’t evoke the Darth Vader theme in workers’ minds when considering this question, too many consider fun a distraction and detrimental to productivity. In fact, research has shown that fun is a strong component of well-being, which is key to productivity. Creating a culture that includes fun is good business strategy.

Fun Feeds Well-Being for Independent Professionals

Well-being is an important driver for independent professionals. Over 80% of independents reported that they are happier and healthier working on their own, and this supports their key life goals. Fun supports their well-being, and they will likely gravitate toward clients with enjoyable work cultures. Not only that, they are likely to be more motivated and productive in such environments.

Infuse Fun into Your Direct Sourcing Program

Including fun as an element of your direct sourcing program can be a powerful competitive differentiator and can make your enterprise a Client of Choice for high-value independents. Independents in younger generations, especially Gen Z, expect fun to be part of their work. Older generations may not have the expectation, but they certainly welcome a fun environment to get things done.

Here are five ways to put fun into your direct sourcing program:

1. Include questions about fun during initial talent contact

What do you for fun? How do you and your family like to spend time together? Ask questions like these during initial interviews with independent prospects and include the answers as part of your data collection. Managers who engage independent professionals in your direct sourcing program can use this information to come up with ways to ensure that fun is included in the team’s work.

2. Bestow funny awards on a periodic basis

Come up with some silly awards that you can give members of your program. For example, invite your independents to post jokes in a section of your chat platform. Invite other program members or managers (or both) to vote on the best joke and reward the winner with a special frame for their photo on your program site.

3. Gamify program participation

A key success factor of your direct sourcing program is ongoing participation by its members, even when they are between projects. Gamification is a popular marketing strategy, and it can work to spark fun in your program. Set small achievements like “talk with other program participants” or “complete your profile” and connect small rewards like badges to completion.

4.  Schedule interesting virtual events

In addition to other scheduled parts of your program like training sessions or webinars, hold interesting events that aren’t connected directly to work. Invite program participants to present in your own version of TED Talks, or make it more ad hoc by assigning a topic to a speaker extemporaneously. Sponsor a virtual escape room session for one or more teams. Hold a “Show and Tell” session for program members to share special objects or photographs with each other.

5. Talk lots more informally

Lighten up on the language you use in your program content. While you don’t want to go so far as to use texting abbreviations or esoteric slang, you can dial down the “business speak,” ease up on grammar rules, and use a few emojis here and there to add some fun.


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