While it’s commonly accepted that having a sense of humour is a desirable attribute of a candidate, workplace humour is a concept relegated to Friday afternoons in many organisations – but the benefits of incorporating more fun into the day can have a profound impact on retention, absenteeism, and productivity.
In order to help employees use humour, and to communicate that it’s acceptable and appropriate, organisations need to provide the tools and set examples.
Mary Rau-Foster, a specialist in employee motivation, communication, and conflict resolution said that people who have fun on the job are simply more creative, more productive and better decision-makers, due to a more relaxed working environment.
Company-planned activities can go far in cultivating a positive corporate culture, Rau-Foster said, and highlighted that group activities facilitate better co-worker relationships, and can allow HR to see who are team players, and candidates for future managerial positions.
Workplace consultant, Tom Peters, agrees that infusing more humour into the workplace will increase creativity, teamwork and ultimately productivity.
“The reality is that the best people are attracted to working environments where there is an element of fun. If good people are placed in an environment that is impersonal, cold and unfriendly for an extended period of time, that is how they will eventually behave,” Peters said.