Humour in the Workplace
Workplaces are full of stress before we factor in the pandemic, skills shortages and utter chaos going on in the world. Research shows that humour and the workplace make a solid yet quirky match, particularly to diffuse stress among employees.
A recent study also suggests that humour can also assist in attracting and keeping customers satisfied, as it builds connections and ‘humanises’ the customer experience. Yes, joking with customers might feel risky, but if you get it right you’ll have a customer for life.
We must remember that humour means different things to different people. While Dave from accounting might not seem like he’s got a funny bone in his body, he might just have a slightly different sense of humour… not everyone can appreciate excel spreadsheet jokes, but we can all appreciate some levity in boring or stressful situations.
Research identifies four main types of humour in the workplace:
- Affiliative humour includes funny personal stories and jokes that create levity, a lighthearted type of humour for easing tension in social interactions.
- Self-enhancing humour can help people deal with stress by staying positive, perhaps a joke about People who always look for a bit of joy in a stressful or distressing situation tend to rely on self-enhancing humour.
- Self-deprecating humour is a humorous way of putting yourself down. When used correctly it can ensures others see you as approachable, but if overdone it can lead to reducing your status with others – especially leaders.
- Aggressive humour is not considered positive and is discouraged in the workplace, it is the kind of joking that makes one person feel better at another’s expense.
Introducing some fun and laughter to your workforce can help combat that stress, contribute to employee health, engagement and ultimately productivity. Besides, tasteful humour will often lead to overall happiness, and isn’t that what we all need after so much doom and gloom?
Bringing humour to work does not mean figuring out how to be the best stand-up comedian in the office. Instead, using humour can simply be thought of as a way of sharing moments of lightness at work to connect with people and balance the seriousness of everyday tasks.
- Start with a healthy joke when you meet or talk to people in the morning to lighten their morning mood. This is particularly easy on Mondays, they just give us so much material to work with!
- Send jokes, funny sayings or demotivational quotes and memes to coworkers via email, or post them on bulletin boards (follow us to steal memes, we love memes).
- Begin meetings by recounting a funny event that occurred to you, or when you made a mistake that had a humorous outcome. Some light self-deprecating humour can make you feel approachable and less of an ass.
- Host workplace games, run ‘best meme’ competitions and/or joke of the week with prizes. Everyone loves a little healthy competition, and you’ll be encouraging creativity that will benefit the business in other areas.
So if humour means happier employees, happier employees mean happier customers, and happier employees drive better business results, (we know this is the case) then there is absolutely no excuse not to incorporate humour into your workplace.
Because a little laughter a day keeps the stress at bay.
If you’re finding your workforce needs an injection of fresh talent with a sense of humour, get in touch with us today!