How Laughter Can Prove Very Profitable

tree-frogs-laughter public domainThe first week of April is “officially” Laugh at Work Week, although I’m a little unclear who’s in charge of making that designation.

You’ll note that it starts with April Fools Day, which we have discussed on these pages before. But we shouldn’t limit our workplace chuckles and guffaws to one week. Research and personal experience teach us that good humor puts us in, well, a good humor.

If you’re the boss, you need to be approachable. If your employees feel like they are walking on egg shells any time you’re around, you’re in deep trouble. The only way you have a chance at learning what is really going on and what is on your employees’ minds is to establish open lines of communication.

What’s so funny?

Being able to recognize and humorously comment on your own foibles is one of the best ways to make those around you feel comfortable enough to tell you the bad news when it occurs. But this isn’t the only reason you, and your crew, need to take yourself lightly and find the humor in situations.

Science has demonstrated a strong correlation between a sense of humor and good health, which will translate to less absenteeism at your workplace, along with a more well-adjusted workforce. People who laugh have lower blood pressure on average, their brains are better stimulated and they may even suffer less heart disease. The old saying that “laughter is the best medicine” may be far closer to the truth that we ever realized.

You may even want to recruit employees who demonstrate a good sense of humor. Not only are they likely to be more healthy, there’s a good chance they’ll spread their good vibes to their co-workers. However, even more importantly: a good sense of humor correlates to higher intelligence and greater verbal creativity.

Maybe one of your interview questions should be, “Tell me a favorite joke of yours or a funny experience you once had!” Just kidding. But hopefully you can get a feel for a candidate’s sense of humor. By the way, with today’s premium on content and social media marketing, bringing on new employees who have the ability to be verbally creative is a major plus for most businesses.

The last laugh

There’s another adage that comes to mind, “Sometimes, the only thing you can do is laugh.”

Anyone who has been involved in the world of small business for any length of time knows that occasionally you find yourself in an impossible situation. Let’s face it, sometimes we fail. Hopefully our failures aren’t big enough to sink us or cause huge problems; but $#%^ happens, as they say.

In those situations, breaking the tension with a good laugh is often the best – and only – thing you can do. When you’ve experienced a set back, try to come out of it smarter and with a smile on your face. If you can do that, you’ll be ready to do battle another day.

Now that we have a feel for many of the great benefits of sharing a few laughs over the course of a workday, be sure to put humor on your to-do list. Don’t let your meetings get dull and boring; have a few laughs. Put a few special days on the calendar that will allow your employees to express their senses of humor. Dress Like the Boss Day can be good.

And I’m not kidding.

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