It’s good to have fun at work but you need to be careful with how fun and humor is defined. Horseplay is usually not recommended and often not allowed for good reason. Humor on the other hand is often allowed and even encouraged but it’s still good to be careful. It is useful to know that there are several types of humor that may, or may not, be appropriate in the workplace and when used inappropriately, can get you into hot water. When used appropriately, i.e., “Humor is in the eye of the beholder,” it can raise morale, build team spirit, and improve productivity!
Dr. Rod Martin, Department of Psychology, University of Western Ontario, and his fellow researchers have devised the Humor Styles Questionnaire that allows us to determine which of four styles of humor is being used more often in an organization. The four styles are Self-enhancing, Affiliative, Aggressive, and Self-defeating.
- Self-enhancing humor is a type of mild humor used to enhance oneself.
- Affiliative humor is used to enhance one’s relationships with others.
- Aggressive humor is used to enhance the self at the expense of others.
- Self-defeating humor is used to enhance relationships at the expense of oneself.
It’s fairly obvious that Self -enhancing and Affiliative humor can be more beneficial than Self-defeating and Aggressive humor. Most organizations have a combination of all four types of humor being displayed at various times and situations.
It’s always good to remember: Humor is in the eye of the beholder! If even one person thinks it’s not funny, it’s not funny. Most businesses don’t think about this, many don’t teach it to their employees, and many don’t consider how it impacts company culture, morale, and employee productivity.
If you are not sure how well your team is doing with humor, Give Us a Shout, so we can help you build a better workplace through positive humor for small business success!
The journey of a thousand miles, as Lao Tzu said, begins with a single step. This ancient wisdom also applies to the world of small business where the prospect of starting a business from scratch, building a business over the long term, and achieving small business success, can often overshadow the significance and value of short-term objectives.
I often preach, play the long game. Start with the vision and work backwards to your daily task list. This works well but sometimes steps in the middle, such as quarterly or monthly goals, get missed. These short-term goals are important, for small business owners as well as their employees, to pay attention to but often get put on the back burner to make time and energy for the daily firefighting.
Short-term goals serve as a powerful catalyst for long term success, providing positive pressure and motivation that can move small business owners towards their vision. Specific and challenging goals lead to higher performance compared to easy or vague goals. Short-term goals, defined as objectives achievable within a year or less, offer immediate feedback and motivation, allowing business owners to adjust strategies and maintain momentum.
For employees, the benefits are just as great!
- The immediacy of short-term goals provides a sense of urgency, creating positive pressure that can motivate employee action and foster a culture of achievement within the organization.
- Short-term goals can also enhance one’s belief in one’s ability to succeed. Achieving them can boost employee confidence, reinforcing the belief that larger objectives are attainable. As motivational guru Tony Robbins once said, “Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.”
- Short-term goals can serve as steppingstones towards long-term objectives, breaking down complex tasks into manageable parts. Known as “chunking,” this process can reduce mental stress and improve employee productivity. It also allows one to leave their comfort zone much more easily. Only through discomfort can we achieve more.
“Move out of your comfort zone. You can only grow if you are willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new.” – Brian Tracy