Workplace humor

The concept, nature and importance of humor in the workplace. The use of humour by managers as a device to exchange information. The place and role of laughter in a possible increase of competitive advantages of the organization, unification team.

Рубрика Менеджмент и трудовые отношения
Вид реферат
Язык английский
Дата добавления 13.07.2017
Размер файла 16,9 K

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Humor can be very important to the cultivation of surroundings wherein employees perform their functions efficaciously. It can cause higher degrees of productiveness than a controlled environment wherein interaction could be very controlled and disciplined. However, employees whose relations are very limited or whom experience overly monitored can shirk or sense intimidated in any such manner that productiveness falls. Alternatively, to use humor should be monitored for the dangerous effect it is able to have on work family members. Often managers do now not use humor as a device for exchange or see it as a threatening.

Humor and its types

Humor: it's human nature!Humor is deep-seated in our history and humanity and it's now believed that humor comes from the higher levels of the brain.
Humor has been broken down into four types:

· Affiliative humor: used to enhance one's relationships with others. This may consist of telling a joke, or partaking in witty banter to improve relationships with others.

· Self-enhancing humor: a “bright side of things” type of humor. It can be used to diffuse a trying situation and add a positive spin on things.

· Aggressive humor: characterized by the use of sarcasm, put-downs, teasing, criticism, ridicule, and other types of humor used at the expense of others.

· Self-defeating humor: humor at one's own expense. It may be a way to gain approval from others by making oneself the “butt” of the joke.

Which type of humor works best in an organizational setting? Well, context is king, but on the whole,affiliative and self-enhancing humors tend to yield the most positive outcomes.Because of its inclusive nature, affiliative humor has been shown to increase group cohesiveness, nurture interpersonal relationships and enhance learning.

Self-enhancing humor can promote creativity and reduce stress, as it tends to encourage people to change their perceptions of negative situations.A moderate dose of self-defeating humor can help lubricate communication-but jokers beware! Putting yourself down too often speaks volumes about your self-esteem and will more likely make people feel sorry for you than laugh.

Aggressive humor is the least beneficial to a work culture since its primary function is to segregate and boost oneself by bringing down someone else.Workplace humor not only makes it more pleasant to work, it enhances communication, relationships, teamwork, creative problem solving and productivity. Humor in the workplace is needed, as we spend a good part of our awake hours at work. If we can have a bit more fun in our work environment, work will seem less of a chore. Statistics show that more people have migraine headaches on Sunday night, and that the number of heart attacks and heart attack-like symptoms are very high early Monday mornings. What does this indicate? It would appear that people dread going to work on Mondays, however, there are other reasons as well. Stress in the workplace has dramatically increased. Stressed and overworked management staff lack the time to positively acknowledge and encourage employees.


Does your boss reproach you every time you are kidding around at work? Show him the results of the latest research on how humor affects the working environment. In fact, according to the research, humor, and especially kidding about things related to the job, improves creative approach to work, cohesiveness of employees and their performance in general.

Chris Robert, a researcher from the University of Missouri-Columbia, proves that occasional humor among co-workers has a positive impact on creating the right atmosphere in the workplace. He has come to this conclusion after examining theories on humor and literature from numerous disciplines related to the subject. The researcher has analyzed hundreds of sources to make the case that humor is actually serious business.Light humor does not interfere with the organization's strive for being competitive.

It is not about workers clowning around and having fun. A good joke at the right time significantly improves cohesiveness in the workplace and quality of communication among colleagues within an organization. Workers' ability to appreciate humor, their ability to laugh and make others laugh has a positive physiological effect on the human body and makes people experience positive emotions and become more bonded.His paper addresses some of the major cultural differences between the American and Asian economic powerhouses.The researcher admits that humor is often difficult when you find yourself in cross-cultural situations. The researcher has rejected this idea in his work and offered some ground rules to help others understands when and what humor might be appropriate. humor laughter team competitiveness

The experiment took a place in the company where humor was used between the boss and employees. Humor facilitated the dual process of promoting collegiality and “doing” power. The boss frequently initiated humor during the meeting to achieve both relational goals while the employees continued and supported the humor. The researcher wanted to see how the humor help to reveal the stress at workplace. Also to see who can handle the stress and if they still can show positive attitude towards colleague. Workplace attitudes who conducted the survey Chris Robert showed that workplace stress is way up63%showed that humor helped to decrease the level of stress in personal life. 60% said humor increased their physical and emotional well-being.

52% said that people in the workplace became more motivated. 35% said that their co-workers saying jokes to each other just to reduce stress level.So, we can see that work should have a pleasant environment for employees. Because you will be spending a long day in workplace, unless you won a lottery.

In another survey by Industrial Work and Training group, conducted with managers from a variety of organizations. The respondent reported that when there is fun in the workplace:

· People enjoing coming to work

· People more motivated at work

· People are good with each other

· People are more cohesiveness and team active

· The people's morals are high

· People more creative to problem-solving

After an experiment were done, Chris Robert suggested couple of tips when humor is needed:

1. Know your audience

Knowing your audience is the first and most important aspect of using humor at work. Don't use humor to insult or offend anyone. Among friends, it may be common to gang up on one friend, joking about an embarrassing memory or funny comment, but that is certainly not appropriate among co-workers.

2. Be sure to laugh at yourself

People enjoy self-depreciating humor that is not too pathetic.

3. Include company anecdotes

It is always a good idea to joke about the things employees can relate to, including stories about products, competitors, difficult customers and production goals. Remember, a joke about a co-worker from a different department is not acceptable.

4. Use humor to diffuse tension

The workplace can be a very stressful environment! Humor is a great way to diffuse a high-tension situation and reduce potential personnel problems. However, avoid jokes about your on boss, because is not fix a problem, it will add more problems.

5. Remember … there is still work to do

While everyone deserves his or her daily dose of humor, it is important to remember that you are getting paid to do a job, not to be the class clown. A few daily laughs will make the workload better for everyone, but don't let jokes distract you from your work.


Humor is just one of the many tools at the disposal of the manager. It is not the panacea. It is not a replacement for any management technique, but definitely a very powerful ally.

It can be concluded, laughter increases group cohesiveness, strengthens relationships, and diminishes tension. An office that laughs together, stays together, and ultimately does the best business together.

Chris Robert aptly said,"If you laugh, the whole world laughs with you.But if you weep, you weep alone".Employees and managers have a considerable amount of common ground. They have language and expertise and experience that bind them together in ways that few non-members of the organization could appreciate. The organizational unit can have a unique humor that reflects its culture, just as a family unit can have unique experiences that separate it from the rest of the world. This uniqueness can be a source of great strength and used to create a distinctive productive environment, perhaps enhancing the competitive advantage of the organization. As practice shows that humor has a positive effect on group cohesiveness, communication, stress reduction, creative thinking, and organizational culture.


· Brett, J., K. Behfar and M.C. Kern, 2006. Managing multicultural team. Harvard Bus. Rev., 84: 84-87.

· G.S. Adams, X. Zou, M.E. Inesi& M.M. Pillutla, 2015. Publication: Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes.130-132.

· by Stephanie Schnurr, Leadership Quarterly, Discourse at Work: Interactions of Humour, Gender and Workplace Culture, 2014. P. 82

· Robbins, SP., (2010), Organisational Behaviour, Pearson Education Pvt. Ltd. Delhi, 11th Edition, p 569

· Academy of Management Journal

· The Role of Humor in the Relationship Journal of Leadership and Organizational Studies October 29, 2015 p.36

· Avolio, B. J., Howell, J. M., &Sosik, J. J. Humor as a moderator of leadership style effects. Academy of Management Journal, 42(2), 219-221.

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