Presentation on theme: "Sherry Benoit, Ed.D Associate VP for Strategic Enrollment Management Lamar University."— Presentation transcript:
Sherry Benoit, Ed.D Associate VP for Strategic Enrollment Management Lamar University
Introduction This session is intended to demonstrate the techniques used in a University Records office to improve employee morale by enhancing humor in the workplace. By attending this session, you should leave with ideas and strategies to enhance humor in your work environment.
What is ‘Humor’? Definitions of 'humor'Definitions of 'humor' (hyū’mər) according to The American Heritage® Dictionary: Humor (n.) The quality that makes something laughable or amusing; funniness Humor (n.) That which is intended to induce laughter or amusement
What is ‘Humor’? “Humor is the fingerprint of the human soul” J.M. Kearns
Humor defined… Note that the definition of humor includes laughter AND amusement. It isn’t necessary to be a stand-up comedian to promote humor in your workplace. Jokes are fine but you can also promote humor through props, ‘warm fuzzies’ such as small rewards, bulletin boards, fun snacks, etc.
Why do you need humor in the workplace? Humor can: Reduce Stress Build healthy work relationships Facilitate good communication All of which lead to… Better productivity, good customer service and happier employees!
It keeps you sane: Why do you need humor in the workplace?
Humor can keep you sane… …when you have one of ‘those’ days:
Scientific studies show that: Laughing 200 times burns the same amount of calories as 10 minutes on the rowing machine! Laughing reduces blood pressure, relaxes your muscles, increases the oxygen in your blood, strengthens your immune system and generally gives your major systems (cardiovascular & respiratory) a good workout. Reducing Stress
Why do you need humor in the workplace? To find non-monetary ways to retain your employees:
Inexpensive/humorous rewards: The office with the most ‘Excellent’ feedback cards in a month got to display the customer service award (a large stuffed fish). Play games at staff meetings such as ‘Did you know…?’ with the person with the most correct answers getting a prize. Have a ‘sunshine committee’ to help plan celebrations and fun days. Small toys (pens, stress balls, slinkies, etc.) Candy bags with poem for each staff member.
To Build Team Relationships (AKA – let’s all look stupid together!) Hawaiian Day…
To Build Team Relationships (AKA – let’s all look stupid together!) Hat Day…
To Build Team Relationships (AKA – let’s all look stupid together!) Mickey Mouse club… …Sherry’s send off to Disneyworld
To Build Team Relationships (AKA – let’s all look stupid together!) Homecoming ‘Rocking the 80’s theme’
To Build Team Relationships (AKA – let’s all look stupid together!) Halloween
Pranks as Humor Fostering a sense of ‘security’ among your employees can lead to bursts of creativity that then continues into their work. This can lead to improved work processes as a side benefit to the humor in the workplace. The following are a few pranks (among the many) that staff members at two different universities in the Records Office created.
The ‘CSI’ prank The Associate Registrar had been really stressing the records vault: Setting Up the Crime Scene
More ‘CSI’… Missing folders… …clues were left everywhere!
More ‘CSI’… More clues...& then a return to the scene of the crime!
Prank the Boss I had been gone to a conference & was greeted by ‘Jack’ at my desk when I returned. “I Missed ya’ Baby!”
Prank the Boss The Director of Admissions has a Bird phobia….. Her team decorated Her area with – BIRDS!
Prank the Boss Our kids go to rival high Schools. We are the Indians. They are the Bulldogs. I came in to find this
Prank to show you care… Our best and favorite tour guide was graduating…
Prank to show you care… So on his last campus tour, we sent him off with flair!
Showing Appreciation Periodically signs are posted to say ‘thanks’ to our employees (both full-time and students)
Celebrating the milestones…
Just having fun …
Humor and Communication Humor can facilitate communication in different ways. 1.Humor can diffuse tense situations. 2.Humor can make other employees seem more approachable. 3.Humor can be used as a ‘gentle reminder’. 4.Employees who share humor regularly are not as quick to ‘judge’ each other when a conflict does arise.
Caution! Humor in the workplace should never be ‘inappropriate’: Jokes should be ‘clean’ and not aimed at any religion, ethnic group, disability, etc. Pranks should be non-physical and never target the same person repeatedly. Humor should always be ‘shared’ and not ‘directed’. There is a time for humor and a time to be serious. If you never act seriously, you will never be taken seriously.
Summary My experience has been that the more humor we use in our workplace, the easier our jobs become. We found that employees who are happy are also productive. This attitude has also spread to the students we serve. While one student complained that we were ‘too loud’, many more comments are made about us being students’ favorite office to visit.
Keep in Mind If you’re having fun, it doesn’t have to feel like ‘work’! Now go have FUN!
Questions? Thank you for allowing me to join you!