An old lady, who would not spend too much money, was gifted a mobile by her children. She took to calling her children very often and talking for hours. When she was asked how come she had changed her habit of not spending money, she told her children her calls were all free because her phone had no wires and was not attached to anything!
Jokes are a good way to start a day. And humor has been known to keep a person healthy. There is no medicine like laughter, it is an old saying and it is very true. When a person has a good belly laugh, his blood pressure drops, his lungs are exercised, his blood stream has more oxygen and happy hormones like endorphins are released in the blood stream. This leads to overall good health.
Humor is good not only in everyday life, but at workplace too. It can enhance creativity, can lead to better communication and also lead to better trust among people. When the work atmosphere is light, productivity is enhanced and the company too benefits. Morale of the employees is enhanced and the employees are also happy. There is less attrition and people look forward to coming to office everyday.
The Harvard Business Review found that executives with a sense of humor climb the corporate ladder faster and make more money in their career.
Humor is not being silly. No one likes to do business with a clown, but a presentation that has humor will get the message across faster. Levity is does not mean silliness, but lightening up the work atmosphere and this leads to improved communication, builds trust and credibility.
Nowadays, team leaders and managers are required to have not only job knowledge, but also humor and people skills. A manager or a boss who uses humor will keep the morale of his team high and this will lead to better productivity. A leader knows the importance of laughing at himself. This will lead to build up of trust. The creative juices will flow when the atmosphere is light and good amount of bantering actually leads to good bonding.
A good example of a chief executive with a good sense of humor is Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Empire. He is a millionaire, but he has the pulse of his people. He has indulged in cross dressing, bungee jumping, hanging out in bars, anything to connect with his people. In his organization, everyone is serious about winning, but also having fun along the way.
The Great Place to Work Institute has this data: the top 100 organizations every year (Fortune’s top 100) have more than 80% of their employees who say they have fun at work.
When humor can have this effect, then why not boost it at workplace? The company management can organize screening of comedy movies once a month. Or they can maybe hire stand up comediennes to liven up the atmosphere once in a while. The work place has to be made interesting and fun place. Jokes can be posted at bulletin boards. Maybe each department can be asked to post a joke and the best can be given a prize. The reward need not be expensive, just a token like a rolling shield, but it will be well fought over. This type of encouragement will bring in the competitive spirit in the area of humor. And hidden humorists will surface.
The culture clubs in the various organizations can organize a humor club and ask the employees to contribute jokes and funny anecdotes. A magazine can be brought out with humorous articles and the best article can also be awarded. Good jokes books can be made available at common areas, and the employees should be encouraged to have fun.
There are various more methods to improve the humor quota in the workplace. Each organization can come up with their own ideas; (wear silly hats to work, have funny slogans printed on the shirt, treasure hunt, solving of riddles, asking for suggestions for alternative uses of any office equipment that does not work, the whackier the suggestion, the better the chances of rewards, etc), it depends on the creativity of the people involved.
Jokes should not be tasteless, targeting religion, caste, physical appearance of a person, below the belt and adult jokes. Not all appreciate such jokes. It should be harmless, and tickle the funny bone of all.
Humor is evident in all spheres of life, you can find humor in wrongly worded email, some print mistakes, slip of the tongue, and when a person says something that is heard as something else.
There are humor experts in the western countries who are hired by various organizations to give a humorous treat to their employees. This is how serious they take humor. Maybe we too should start something like this.
A good belly laugh can remove stress faster than medicine. And workplaces are full of stress. If the stress factor is addressed by humor, then productivity will flow, companies will prosper, and the general health of employees will improve.