funnybusiness

An administrative assistant, a sales rep and a manager are on their way to lunch when they happen upon an old oil lamp. They give it a rub, and out pops a Genie who says, “I’ll grant each of you one wish.” The assistant says, “Me first! I want to be transported to the middle of the Caribbean, riding on my yacht, and leading a life of luxury.” Poof! She’s gone. “I’m next!” says the sales rep. “I want to be basking in the sun on a Hawaiian beach with my personal masseuse, an endless supply of umbrella drinks and the love of my life.” Poof! He’s gone. “OK, you’re up,” the Genie says to the manager. Without missing a beat, she says, “I want those two back in the office after lunch.” The moral of the story: “Always let the boss go first.”

I like a nice clean joke – especially one where the boss wins. We’ve been talking about the power of humor in the workplace this month. Statistically (which is typically the anathema to humor), the numbers support the value of workplace humor:

  • The executive recruitment firm Robert Half International surveyed approximately 500 professionals on funny business. They found that 97 percent believe it’s important that managers have a sense of humor; 90 percent said humor is integral to career advancement; and 84 percent acknowledge that people with a good sense of humor do a better job.
  • In another survey, Bell Leadership Institute, a leader in executive education, found that the two most desirable traits in leaders are: 1) (not surprising) a strong work ethic; and 2) (a bit surprising) a good sense of humor.
  • Another study, by the market-research firm Ipsos noted a statistically significant correlation between a managers’ sense of humor and their employees’ willingness to remain with the company.
  • And for those who are looking for employment, you should know that according to a CareerBuilder survey, when considering two equally-qualified job candidates employers typically chose the one with the better sense of humor.

All of these statistics aside, I just like a workplace where people are enjoying themselves. I’m not advocating for open mic night in the employee cafeteria. But I am suggesting a good laugh couldn’t hurt.