The old adage of “laughter is the best medicine” really does hold true… even (actually, especially) in the workplace. A few chuckles or a smile can change a bad, unproductive day into a good one full of positive energy. Who doesn’t want that, right?
Humor in the workplace is really catching on with companies looking to improve their workplace cultures and overall success. For instance,
- A Robert Half International survey found that 91% of executives believe a sense of humor is important for career advancement, and 84% feel that people with a good sense of humor do a better job.
- A Bell Leadership Institute study found the two most desirable qualities in leaders were a strong work ethic and a good sense of humor.
“A sense of humor is part of the art of leadership, of getting along with people, of getting things done.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower
The key is providing just enough fun and silliness in good taste without going over the top. Here are three things to keep in mind as you start to think about how to approach humor in the workplace.
1. Don’t take yourself too seriously. The safest and easiest way to show humor is to poke fun at yourself, without going too far. This makes you appear more approachable and easier to work with.
2. Laugh with your coworkers – but not at them. Don’t target anyone and watch sarcasm.
3. Stay appropriate. Stir clear of topics such as race, gender, sex, age, national origin, sexual orientation, religion, and disabilities.
So, what does appropriate humor look like? Here’s an example from our award-winningLife is a Journey™ poster line.
Also check out this FREE white paper, “Why Humor Works in Workplace Wellness Communications.” And this article, “Give Your Employees a Healthy Dose of Humor in Your Wellness Communications.”
This is the first in a three-blog series about humor in the workplace.
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