Humor At Work: 5 Tips For Managing With Mirth

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A workplace that is fun is often a productive workplace.

“Sometimes, a little levity goes a long way toward building rapport among colleagues and diffusing workplace tension,” says Max Messmer, chairman of the staffing firm Accountemps, and author of Managing Your Career For Dummies. “All work and no play can erode employee morale.”

Max Messmer have a sense of humor

Max Messmer

“Managers with a good sense of humor will be viewed as more approachable by their employees,” Messmer said. Levity by those at the top can make the office less stressful and even more fun, which can help improve productivity, morale and retention.”

Maintaining Your Sense Of Humor

Messmer offers these five tips for managers to maintain their sense of humor and help their teams:

1. Don’t take yourself too seriously. If you fumble over your words or make a harmless mistake, it’s OK to laugh at yourself.
2. Provide an opportunity for casual conversations. Whether it’s at an offsite event or in the few minutes before a staff meeting, give employees a chance to talk about their interests outside of work. This will help them strengthen their bonds and, ultimately, productivity.
3. Share a funny story. Kick off meetings with an entertaining anecdote to put everyone at ease prior to the discussion. If you and your employees enjoy the same sit-com, don’t hesitate to talk about the latest episode.
4. Be in on the joke. If somebody else shares a funny story, don’t be afraid to laugh. You’ll show you’re part of the team.
5. Keep your humor clean. Discussing inappropriate material or being sarcastic or disrespectful will make people uncomfortable and sour your working relationships.

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