Contrary to the viewpoints of some managers, there is value in your team being funny, silly and witty in the office. A good chuckle brings people together and helps to relieve stress; a clever one-liner can help lighten a mood and an amusing story can act as a great icebreaker and team-building moment.
Humor in the workplace makes the environment more fun and enjoyable, but did you know it also comes with other benefits?
Employees who have fun are more punctual
Dr. David Abramis discovered people who have fun at work have better attendance than people who aren’t having fun. He also found employees who engage in fun on the job are better decision-makers and are more collaborative, loyal, productive and creative.
Humor leads to career growth and makes better leaders
Humor has also been linked to positive professional perception and advancement. Robert Half International, a human resource consulting firm, found 91 percent of executives believe a sense of humor is important for advancement and a Bell Leadership Institute survey concluded a good sense of humor and a strong work ethic were the two most describable traits in leaders.
Fun decreases burnout and attracts new talent
Fun not only keeps your existing team happy, but it also attracts new talent. A recent study involving millennials shows fun has a stronger influence than compensation and advancement opportunities when making a job selection.
Proof is in the pudding
I have seen and personally experienced the benefits fun has in the office. For years, I had the privilege of working and managing in such a culture. People were genuinely happy and looked forward to coming into the office. In fact, employees enjoyed the environment so much that many would voluntarily come in on their day off if there was a special event happening such as a team meeting, potluck or picnic.
The fun we had came in all types and sizes. Yes, some of our fun was planned (like our potlucks, contests and recognition celebrations) but the majority of our fun wasn’t planned and couldn’t be tied to a specific day or occasion. We would regularly entertain one another, play jokes on each other and do whatever we could to make each other smile.
While this culture may sound disruptive and unproductive, it wasn’t. Because these employees were encouraged to share a laugh and have a good time, they fully respected me, their other leaders, their work, and the organization. Our fun directly contributed to strong team member and management relationships, open and honest communication, increased employee loyalty, retention and decreased burnout.
Now that you better understand why fun at work is important, how are you going to create and foster it?
Danielle Clark is a human resources manager with more than 10 years of HR and customer service experience in healthcare and retail organizations. Her work with Fortune 500 companies, in addition to a diverse professional and academic background, has trained Clark to be results-driven, people-focused and a thought-provoking leader. Her goal is to educate and inspire professionals to change their way of thinking. She is also an adjunct professor, active community volunteer, wife, mother and passionate lifelong learner.