Humor, Yes Humor, Can Motivate and Reward Employees

For years, the team at Corban OneSource would play practical jokes on each other just to keep things fun.  One of my favorite was our Project Managers found a colleague’s door closed and they quietly put clear packing tape across the entire threshold of the door from frame to frame.  They then came in my office and asked me to be an accomplice.  Naturally I agreed and called the team member on his extension and told him our largest client just had a major issue with him and he better be in my office in the next 5 seconds (This is completely unlike me but I did my best at playing the part).  Sure enough he opened the door in a hurry and did not see the tape.  I guess the image that comes to mind would be a fly caught in a spiders’ web.  The is one of many that have taken place over the years and though a little on the extreme side, everyone laughed about it for years!  Here are a few tidbits of information that may help.

Laugh-a-Day Tips to Keep Stress Away

Have a happy hour. Take responsibility for your own ability to have a good laugh. Turn your break or lunch hour into a “happy hour.” Keep a few funny videos or funny books on tape close at hand for “happy hour” entertainment.

Open a meeting with a good, quick story. Everyone likes to share something about themselves, their children, their grandchildren. It shouldn’t be a big deal, just a quick, “This made me smile” moment.

Organize a team of dial-a-jokesters.Whenever you’re at the end of your rope, call a co-worker who can get you smiling and back into the game.

Relax with a game. Go outside in the sunshine and get moving with some team sports. Organize a game of Pictionary at lunch. Do anything that is different from your everyday routine.

Yuck it up. Keep a humor collection — things like great cartoons and humorous essays — in your files, or dedicate a bulletin board to funny stuff so anyone, anytime, can take a little humor break. But keep the humor appropriate.

– Source: Peter Giuliano and Frank Carillo, of Executive Communications Group, Engelwood, N.J.

Here’s why: People like to laugh and have fun. If they can do it at work, chances are they’re going to be happier and more productive. Speakers, entertainers and politicians have used humor to get people’s attention and gain approval throughout history. So can you.

Happy Employees are Productive Employees

Optimism and cheerfulness are protective influences against the damaging effects of failure, rejection and disappointment. These negative effects are part of life and, in all likelihood, are not meant to be avoided because we can learn so much from them.

In many cases, people who have overcome their failures find ways to laugh at their mistakes, realize their shortcomings, and grow from them. Don’t be afraid to share your experiences, laughing at the wrong turns, finding ways to share the lessons, poking fun at the efforts that didn’t work.

Humor is a powerful coping mechanism that gives courage when in difficult circumstances. With a smile on your face, your employees will likely find their own failures less defeating and maybe even laugh at themselves. It may be during these conversations that the problem is revealed.

You don’t have to turn your workplace into a circus, but light-hearted conversation can be helpful. Employers might find it beneficial to start the staff meeting with a humorous story. They might encourage office activities that allow employees to laugh and have fun. Some companies sponsor softball, bowling and league teams, which allow employees to bond away from the office.

At Eastman Kodak, an exec formed a Humor Task Force to gather comedy videos, humorous books and other props in a Humor Room, frequented by employees who were looking for a smile.

Joe Baron, who works for Opryland USA in Nashville, offers advice for human resource managers. He makes laughter a job requirement. He says coming to work knowing he’ll be able to chuckle once in a while is very beneficial.

Baron acknowledged that there is a time and a place to be serious and that some problems are void of humor. But he stresses the fact that laughter in the workplace nearly always generates higher productivity and fewer employee problems.

Humor and fun tend to go hand-in-hand. But if people are comfortable and know they can have fun together, chances are they’ll be more united when the chips are down and the large projects are on the line.

 

Some excerpts from © 2014 BizActions