Laugh to Build an Engaging Culture
Humor is no laughing matter. There are numerous compelling studies from such lofty organizations as Wharton, Stanford University and MIT that point to a variety of benefits to organizations that make humor a key component of their culture. These benefits include:
- Increased productivity
- Increased talent retention
- Improved customer care
- More employee engagement
- The ability to attract good talent – word gets out quickly if you’re a desirable place to work
- A decrease in the use of employee benefits – laughter decreases stress and increases health
- Increased growth – research done by the organization Great Place to Work shows, time and again, that organizations with a thriving workplace culture tend to grow significantly faster than peer organizations
So what are some ways to introduce humor into your culture? In my last blog, I mentioned posting funny signs in a central area every day. Here is another idea that will bowl you over when you see its impact on your culture:
Laughter Clubs trace their roots to India where, in the 1990’s people gathered at assigned times in public parks where they would look at each other and laugh for 5-10 minutes. Then they would leave and go about their days. Can you imagine what life would be like if you started your day with laughter?
And can you imagine the impact on your company culture if each department or division had 5-10 minute laughter sessions every day?
The key, of course, is to get executives involved. If there is no buy-in from a senior level, then employees will understandably wonder if participation will be looked down upon. After all, if the execs don’t think it’s important enough to engage in, what must they think of the employees who do? In case you need convincing to get you (yes, you!) and your senior level people involved, look at the bulleted list of benefits above. This is a SHORT list! If you want your senior people to do their best work, get them laughing!
For more information about laughter in the workplace, give me a call. The years I’ve spent doing stand-up can surely benefit your company.