Humor in the Workplace: What Managers Should Know

When in a work environment, it can be easy to rely on humor to create and maintain working relationships with your employees. While certain environments will permit humor more than others, it’s critical that a company’s leadership team has a firm handle on what is and what is not acceptable.

Most managers will agree: A diverse workplace can make it difficult to support an environment that doesn’t set boundaries for the type of appropriate humor. What one employee may label as a ‘mood lightening’ joke could spell tension for another team member across the room. Further, certain types of humor can cause others to feel uncomfortable. Sarcasm may work well for your personal life, but depending on how well others know and read you, it can cause miscommunications that could affect your authority and employees’ perceptions of you.

While the intent may not be malicious, all managers must be aware of how their words and actions affect the team. More than other employees, managers act as the model for the rest of the staff. Typically, how and when a manager uses humor during the workplace will dictate how his or her subordinates follow suit.

For more insights into workplace humor, visit Stephen’s website here.

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