Your company's success is a serious matter. You want your team focused on their jobs, and driving toward improving sales, revenues, and profit margins. It may seem counter-intuitive to spend time and energy on humor. The truth, though, is that a fun workplace does more than help your team feel better and let off steam. It also helps improve business performance. The following are five ways humor helps your organization perform better.
1. Humor Helps Build Teamwork
Few things bring people together like a shared joke. When your employees can laugh together, they learn to feed off of each other in ways that your everyday work functions and processes don't achieve by themselves. Employees in a fun environment work together better.
2. It Retains Employees
Turnover hits companies hard. It is estimated that replacing a mid-level employee costs about 20% of that person's salary every time you have to do so. When employees enjoy being at work, they are less likely to leave. Find ways to lighten up the daily work experience to help keep the people on whom you rely.
3. It Keeps Your Team Healthier
Even when you retain people, you need them healthy. A fun work environment has health benefits for your employees. Humor releases endorphins and helps people relieve stress. The more you can do to help your team enjoy being at work, the fewer health-related absences you will have to manage.
4. Humor Fosters Creativity
One struggle many managers and business owners face is how to develop creativity. Teaching people to think outside the box gets difficult when everyone's work stays planted firmly inside that box. Humor in the workplace gets people thinking in different ways, activating parts of the brain that otherwise might stay on hold during the day. If you let people loose a little, they can unlock ideas that might never come up in a mundane work environment.
5. Humor Boosts Productivity
No one can focus on the same thing for eight hours straight. Over the course of the work day, people slow down and get distracted. By giving people a chance to step away from their tasks, enjoy a good joke, and have fun, you let them refresh their mental energy. The result is a team that maintains and builds energy levels over the course of the day, instead of flagging and limping to the end.
You do need to learn to balance humor with the demands of a work environment. Don't try to fully define or control how people enjoy the workday. Instead, make sure that it fits within two broad ranges: A harassment-free workplace and a productive workplace. The key is making sure humor does not hurt employees or derail the work that you need to do. If you give freedom to enjoy the day with the enforcement of boundaries, you can help open up the potential of your team and your business.