Connect With Humor At Work

“Connective humor” is the easiest and most effective form of workplace humor, according to Patt Schwab, Ph.D.

It is not the humor of sitcoms and stand-up performances. In fact, it’s not really about joke telling as much as it is about finding and appreciating the lighter side of life and sharing it with others.

Connective humor makes individuals feel like they are a part of a team while unleashing their creativity and creating loyalty.

A good sense of Humor is one of the top 10 traits of successful CEOs, and it is listed as one of the top five leadership skills required for success. One of the most important assets in business is a sense of humor and an ability to laugh at yourself or the situation.

We tend to trust people who make us laugh or smile. Laughter connects us at a natural level and implies common experiences and values. We perceive fun individuals as “safe” and feel more comfortable being around them.

Humor is knowledge; if you know what people in your organization are laughing at, then you know what is going on. The kind of humor they use will tell you how healthy or unhealthily your organization is and what the real core values of those who work there are. Do they match what values you want?

Some people have a hard time with humor; maybe they were abused with humor as a child. The person for whom control is very important also struggles with humor.

BOUNDARY ALERT! Never use humor to hurt anyone; do not use sarcastic humor, racial humor, or nasty, sexist humor. Humor is to be fun, light and able to uplift down spirits.

A humorous, positive atmosphere creates greater employee loyalty and increases productivity. Plus, the idea of you and your staff spending your days at work having fun is amazing.

Let me assure you that fun does not mean laughing all day. “Fun at work” means enjoying what you do, knowing you make a difference, and feeling appreciated for your work while having a great time with those you work with.

Humor comes from the top. Researchers have found that with respect to creativity and humor as much as 60% comes from the boss. This does not mean that the boss has to be the most creative or the funniest person at work, it just means that they establish the boundaries and risks associated with humor and creativity. The boss’ sense of humor or lack thereof is inevitably reflected by the staff.

Here are some Humorous ideas for the workplace:

1. Have a best dressed rubber chicken contest

2. Do a community event together

3. Post pictures of office staff and employers as babies or teenagers for customers to guess who is who

4. Create positive events, i.e., potlucks, dress up or down days, or a parking lot BBQ

5. Celebrate staff successes

6. Establish an office joke board for clean and funny jokes.

7. Celebrate holidays at work for customers and office staff.

8. Make up a holiday such as “Pink Flamingo days.”

9. Celebrate turning negatives into positives and enjoying a fun day.

10. Have an office puppet who likes to interact with the staff. (Believe it or not I have three puppets at work).

What other great fun ideas can you  share with us that do you do at your place of work to have fun with each other?

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