You don’t get happiness from success,
You get success because you are happy. Thomas Flindt
A company that can laugh at itself goes a long way to building confidence and respect. Leadership that can inject levity into the day to day rule.
To be irreverent actually means to show disrespect. Yet leadership that appropriately laughs at itself does not decrease or take away from respect, it enhances it. It shows people you are confident enough to flaunt your downfalls. In flaunting them you downplay them showing that you are in control.
In organizations it works the same way, to laugh at your dilemmas and shortcomings shows your human. Organizations become sterile when things are routine and ordinary.
You can squash a seemingly sterile work environment by looking for ways to poke fun at your regime, leadership and (cautiously and in a good natured way) others. The key to using humor in the workplace is to establish your competency first, error on the side of caution, start off light and increasingly use humor as you “test the waters”
We have racked our brains (not as painful as it sounds) to come up with some things you can do to Lighten up your workplace immediately: Print this up and Keep it for future use…
Motivation in the Workplace Tools:
Props and Diversions to add inspiration for Humor in the workplace:
Leave Fun (cheap- dollar store) Toys on your desk- distribute throughout the day
Have Nerf basketball in the break room
Install a Gum ball machine
Pool and Ping Pong tables add fun
Foam dart fights after leadership meetings
Have a fun seminar. Include inspirational speeches on the agenda ( yes leaders can give inspirational speeches)
It is a good start but it’s not enough to add toys and diversions though. Humor should be used to diffuse stuffiness, awkwardness and other corporate tensions. So think of tense situations and find ways to use humor….
Have a good ice breaker that diffuses awkward business moments (i.e. – a funny photo on the wall, fun events, etc)
At a fun at work seminar,create Silly Job Titles, Humorous training films, Ritual dances at the completion of a project.
Put humor in documents and signs
( ie- Bad Day in Progress… Send Chocolate, If you think there is good in everybody, you haven’t met everybody, I don’t get even- I get odder, To err is human to forgive is against company policy, Chaos, panic and disorder- my work here is done! I’m not tense just terribly, terribly alert, If you run out of sick days call in dead)
Want people to read a manual? Write on page 11 that the First 11 employees to mention the page receive a gift (the gift is a T-Shirt that says ask me about page 11)
Issue dollar fines for excessive whining, leaving up the toilet seat in the bathroom, neglecting to recycle, etc. Use the proceeds to have a party.
To inject fun a work, Don’t be predictable…. Make meetings, agendas and routines fun. Humor has to be unexpected
Start up company-sponsored softball, volleyball and football leagues in which anyone can join and play for free. Non-sports-playing cheerleaders are welcomed as well
Competitive FUNdraising- Keep things fun and interactive by pitting departments against each other. Each department in the company competes to see which team can raise the money for a charity, with the winning team receiving tickets to a sporting event.
Have an impromptu champagne reception at the end of the work day (not the beginning!) especially if people have been doing overtime
Lessen the hierarchy and allow things to be open for discussion
Take the blame when an employee fails
Celebrate Screw Ups- Allow people a means to feel its ok to say I screwed up
Have kids run the office for a day (a scaled back version of work. Kids always add inspiration and humor
Eradicate the ailment week…i.e. too much paperwork, bring out ideas and laugh
Ok that’s about 15 I think.
Organizations that play together stay together, when you encourage fun you inspire employees, customers and your community. To quote a funny motivational speaker Brad Garner,You cannot be a dysfunctional organization internally and project an exceptional attitude on the outside. Customers can tell what kind of attitude employees have.