Humor in the Workplace Tips: How to Get the Humor at Work Ball Rolling

Everyone asks me for some tips on adding more humor into the workplace or for getting the humor at work ball rolling,  so here are some tips to up the fun factor in your workplace:

1.  Create a humor at work team tasked with pursuing some simple initiatives to add more humor on a consistent basis.

2. Have a meeting to specifically address morale in the workplace and to brainstorm some simple ways to create a more fun work environment. Ask what it is that people fear about using humor in the workplace to make sure potential roadblocks are discussed and dealt with effectively.

3. Commit to 2 or 3 specific goals per quarter for adding more fun into the workplace.

4. Create a FUN “humor in the workplace code of conduct” to remind people of the importance of having fun, but in a safe, professional way.

5. Start a humor at work library to encourage people to read about the topic.  Include DVDs and audio CDs that employees can watch or listen to on their breaks or drive into work.

6. Create a humor at work bulletin board to post fun announcements, funny quotes, fun photos, fun thoughts of the day and to remind people to have fun every day.

7. Create a few simple rituals or traditions that encourage people to have fun and lighten up. Rituals and fun workplace traditions create a sense of shared history and shared team experience, and they give employees something to look forward to and something to reminisce about.

8. Set aside time in every meeting for a little bit a fun. Encourage people to share funny work related anecdotes or funny work related jokes.

9. Use a rotating “corporate jester” position to spearhead fun activities. Rotate the position every 3 months to give everyone a chance at taking on the role, and to make sure no one burns out trying to do everything themselves.

10.  Create a humor room or a humor first aid kit stockpile with funny props, costume parts, books and CDs that people can access when they need a break.

11.  Dedicate a part of your internal intranet website for fun, and as a resource section where people can share best practices, fun ideas or tip.

12. Start a shared inventory of everyone’s favorite funny books,  TV shows and movies.

13.  Create a mascot that will serve as a permanent reminder to everyone to lighten up.

14. Create a fun slogan, complete with badges and bumper stickers that will remind everyone to lighten up.

15. Give people explicit permission to have more fun at work, don’t assume they know this already!

And as always, remember that most humor in the workplace arises organically, spontaneously, out of the everyday things that just rise up and bite us in the funny bone. They key is to make sure you have a relaxed enough working environment where it’s okay for this natural humor to happen! Remember, humor in the workplace is both a tool AND the end result of working in a great, inspiring, “want to” workplace environment where people feel valued, respected, and trusted, and where people feel free to simply be themselves.

Copyright Michael Kerr, 2011   mike@mikekerr.com

For more ideas and specific tips on how to add more creativity and fun to your workplace, check out Michael’s e-book “340 Ways to Put Humor to Work”, available for immediate download, as well as his bestselling book, “You Can’t Be Serious! Putting Humor to Work.”    www.humoratwork.com

And for a regular injection of fun ideas:

- Sign up for Mike’s weekly Humor at Work e-zine, at www.humoratwork.com

- Check out all the past episode of Humor at Work TV at www.humoratwork.tv

- Follow Humor at Work tips on Twitter at: http://www.twitter.com/humoratwork

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