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by Nan L. Crockett
“I’m not having fun at my job anymore,” lamented a recent workshop attendee. Years ago managers might well have answered, “I should hope not. Work isn’t supposed to be fun!”
Today’s enlightened leaders know if people aren’t happy at work, the business suffers. Customers can tell there’s a problem, which can affect current or future purchasing potential. Project completion takes longer. Other employees start hearing negative, depressing comments.
There is more absenteeism, more turnover. These hidden costs are significant. Turnover, for instance, costs on average one to one-and-a-half times a person’s annual salary.
What are laughter’s benefits?
Research tells us, on the other hand, that when people laugh, creativity is enhanced. Humor helps teams get on a solid footing more quickly. People who find it easy to laugh at work are less likely to need that “mental health sick day.” They have less need to move on to those ever-present “greener pastures.”
There are certainly individual benefits for people who laugh. A good belly laugh actually enhances the immune system. Laughter reduces stress. In short, laughter improves our health. Think about all of those times you have laughed. It’s pretty hard to feel a lot of tension when you’re letting loose.
So what do I do if my workplace is dull and boring?
Liven things up!
My clients have shared some of their favorites: