Admit it, you were up late last night. You were! I know it because I was too. The majority of us were watching the Powerball numbers being drawn last night. Within the hour, we learned that no one hit the jackpot, and it was time for everyone to come back down to reality and face the fact that we are all working on Monday. But it was fun to dream wasn’t it?
I was thinking of how I could help so many more people in this world and have a little bit of family fun too. I’m sure you were thinking similar thoughts. So many people were thinking how they were going to tell their boss that they quit, maybe even an entire department.
I have run many pools in my time, and, if you are not careful, they can create trouble in the workplace. As a career transition expert and employee engagement specialist, it’s important to ensure all activities drive high employee engagement and fun. That’s why I created six rules that I live by for a lottery pool.
I’m sure you are thinking, “why go through the trouble to put rules in place?” I would rather have rules in place than face a major legal battle. I have seen colleagues fight and have shouting matches at work when someone did not pay their amount, or had paid but had no idea what the numbers were for the lottery. And this is in situations where nothing was won. Can you imagine the major mess if you did hit the jackpot and there were problems?
So here are my six rules of engagement for an office lottery pool
#1) Let HR Know What You Are Doing
All you have to do here is give your HR representative a heads up. I know what you are thinking, why would you do this? I would rather be proactive and give them an FYI instead of having a problem on my hands later. It’s all about being up front, open, and honest.
#2) Appoint A Leader
There should be one single point of contact or leader for the office lottery pool. That person runs the entire show. He or she can appoint people to help out with tasks, but one person should be in charge. I have seen many pools where there are two or three people in charge, and disagreements occur, making the experience not fun at all.
#3) Create A Contract
This is one of the most important things to do. All the rules need to be inputted and written down in paper. From taking a lump sum or annuity to the computer picking the numbers versus people picking them, things need to be written down and signed by each person playing in the pool.
#4) Make Copies Of Tickets
You must make copies of all the lottery tickets purchased, and each person should get their own copy. I have seen just one master copy printed, or two or three copies printed and left in a common area in the workplace. Those copies are usually scooped up and taken, leaving others out in the cold. It’s very important for each person to get their own copy because it’s the right thing to do, and everyone feels included in the fun.
#5) Store The Tickets In A Safe Place
Once the copies are made and distributed to everyone, the leader must store the tickets in a safe place. I have seen people put them in a glass box wall display or leave them out on a table in the middle of the floor. Someone could easily steal the tickets. Keep them locked up in a safe and secure place.
The leader’s communication should be concise and to the point. I always over communicate– this ensures that everyone is aware of the rules and procedures. I even take time to go around and make sure that all questions are answered, and stay in constant communication. A little more communication goes a long way to have fun.
It may sound crazy have all these rules, but it makes the process better for everyone. It’s a great employee created engagement activity. And rules also protect everyone from potential problems or legal issues. I have seen and heard of many people get burned from poor set up of the lottery office pool that a high level of employee engagement changed overnight to complete employee disengagement. People have been fired, left companies, fought in the parking lot, and even threatened. And win or lose, the original intent was to dream and have fun together.