Every organisation wants to be full of winning teams – and much of the work of HR, and leadership and management is to help create those conditions. They can include things like inclusion, shared decision-making, distributed leadership, a good physical environment, a safe place to work, security – and respect for all people, despite their level and role. One thing that all of these methods try to achieve is to create a conducive environment for workmates – one where happiness will keep team members satisfied with their various roles in the organizations and hence become, or stay, more productive. And how do we know when people are happy – they laugh. In light of this, why not just cut to the chase and make your employees happy by making them laugh?
Some of the reasons why laughter may come in handy are:
When management is keen to create a light atmosphere, it encourages team members to speak openly about how they feel about the company and its policies. This feedback is imperative for any organization that realizes that happy workers equal greater productivity. A manager who good-humoured, and openly lasts – even one that makes fun of him-or herself breaks down the barrier that is ubiquitous in many employer-employee relationships. People who laugh are good to be around and comes across as one of the team.
Life is certainly more hectic now than it was a few decades ago. As adults, we laugh far less than we did as children (about 80% less), and as a community we laugh far less than we used to. Strain interferes with a person’s ability to focus on their work which leads to a significant reduction in productivity. By injecting laughter into your people’s daily routine, the effects of tension are greatly mitigated making it possible for a team’s operations to go on with little or no interruption.
Think of a situation where formalities are the norm; where tension thrives amongst employees and where unbreachable barriers exist between management and the rest of the workforce. It is much harder to get novel ideas from workers as they may be too intimidated and think that their ideas will be automatically rejected. Contrast this to a situation where employees are encouraged (with the aid of humor) to air their views without fear of reprisal. It shouldn’t be surprising that those in the last scenario will suggest even the wildest of ideas which ultimately may be the solution to a common problem due to their out-of-the-box thinking. However, even if their ideas are not adopted the light atmosphere keeps them from taking it personally. Laughter before a creativity workshop – does wonders to help build innovation.
In fact, Edward DeBona, the father of lateral thinking, says that humour and creativity are very close together. Laughter is what happens when you get lots of humour.
Kris has many years’ experience running laughter workshops for both teams and organizations. Give him a buzz on +61(0)438 545 607 or send him an email firstname.lastname@example.org.
— Cris Popp (@laughterpopp) January 11, 2015