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Humor in the Workplace

by: Ellene Meece

It has been said, the average pre-schooler laughs or smiles 400 times a day and that number drops to only 15 times a day by the time a person reaches age 35!

Children are unrestricted in the creative process and they laugh at everything! Is it time for us as adults to welcome God's humor and light-hearted spirit into the workplace to bring back His creativity and energy flow?

As a child, we learn through play and games. Could it be that this technique is still relevant to our inner child even in our grown up bodies? What if we as adults added some 'play' to our presentations, training manuals, and task lists. Would retention and productivity soar?

From an article, U.S. Employees Agree: A Good Laugh Can Increase Workplace Productivity, the author quotes, Sosik, a management professor at PSU's Great Valley graduate school and co-author of a study on the effect of humor in workplace productivity entitled, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Bottom Line. The study examines the effects of leadership behavior and humor style on both individual and unit performance.

Sosik reports, "The pattern of results indicates that the style of humor exhibited by a leader had a positive impact on unit performance. These preliminary results suggest that how leaders influence their direct reports with respect to humor style may be one of a number of factors that contribute to bottom-line performance." Sosik continues, "Humor juxtaposes two seemingly opposite concepts. As a result, employees are able to visualize concepts they might not have otherwise considered, thus creating new ideas and potentially an improved bottom line. In short, this suggests that a leader's use of humor may help shape a creative and efficacious work force." A Good Laugh Can Increase Workplace Productivity

It is also agreed that humor in the workplace produces company and team loyalty, wards off burn out and absenteeism and fosters high productivity due to stress reduction.

What is appropriate humor in the workplace?

  • Being able to see the humor in common situations all around us
  • Avoiding laughing at someone else's expense
  • Keeping our humor clean and inoffensive
  • Being secure enough to laugh at ourselves
Jesus invitation (Matthew 11:30, The Message Bibles) reads, "Walk with me and work with me -- watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with Me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly."

I believe He is saying, "And you will learn how to laugh so that my humor and laughter can spread throughout your everyday routines and right into the workplace."

Ellene Meece lives in Meeker, Colorado and works with her husband in their natural resource company while running her own online store, Grandma's Treasures Online. Currently, she oversees the marketing for the FMIN Workplace Leaders Network.



What a great idea, Mark, to provide a light-hearted time out to eat and fellowship with your employees!
by: Ellene Meece

Your presentation at the FMIN Women's Gathering of the need for laughter and humor set the tone for an increase of energy, participation and a light-hearted atmosphere. We were all so blessed by you!
by: Bonnie Duell

In construction if we provided a meal and kept our peoples needs met with fellowship it created harmony on the job. Productivity was doubled and absenteeism was zero. The biggest complaint companies had about me was I never fired anyone. I also in 35 years never had a lost time accident on one of my jobs. Thank You, Ellene
by: Mark Anderson

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