Including laughter in the workplace can promote a healthy work environment and more productive workers, according to Assistant Professor Chris Robert of the University of Missouri-Columbia. In an interview with Karen E. Klein of Business Week, Robert explains why humor on the job can reduce turnover and increase productivity.
“…humor is one of the things associated with a positive effect, which increases not only productivity, but also the ability to communicate well with the boss, co-workers, and customers. It also enhances the degree to which you feel bonded, cohesive, and part of the group in the workplace,” Robert said.
The findings of his research don’t necessarily mean that all your new hires should be funny or have a good sense of humor. Instead, his research shows that when used correctly, humor and laughter can be effective business tools to interact with employees and customers.
Many studies have shown that laughter increases oxygen helping to boost energy, immunity and alleviate stress. Having a good laugh can also help you burn off calories and retain more information. With the amount of benefits laughter offers, why wouldn’t you include it in the office? You don’t have to be the funniest person or have the most comical management team to encourage laughter among your team members. Just allow them to enjoy themselves while working and interacting with their coworkers and customers.
Here are some appropriate ways you can encourage laughter at your company:
1. Let staff members take breaks after long periods of work. Allow them to visit their social networks or chat with their coworkers during down time.
2. Plan an activity at your next staff meeting that allows employees to work together and learn more about each other and their unique learning and communication styles.
3. Start an after work exercise club to bond staff members with fitness. Make participation optional and include activities, such as walking, yoga and aerobics.
4. Celebrate holidays, anniversaries and birthdays with workplace parties. Decorate your building and provide lunch and activities for your employees to enjoy.
For more ways to bring laughter into the workplace, please call a member of CAI’s Advice and Counsel Team at 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746.
Photo Source: Poi Photography