The Positive Effects of Humor in the Workplace

 The Quest for Success: The Hidden Gem of Business

By: Denisa Holeckova, Lauren Bernard, Thompson Imasogie, Tim LaPlante, Katie O’Brien

What’s the secret behind running a successful and profitable business? Much like Indiana Jones and his quest for the Golden Mayan Statue, we too have struck gold. The secret of business success has finally been uncovered, and we’re here to tell you firsthand what’s in this clandescent treasure chest. There are many components that make up a functioning and lucrative business. These components act much like jewels on a ring, surrounding the center stone, and enhancing the remarkability of the piece. Without the center stone, the piece is not complete. The jewels of business management, human resources, and even psychology garnish the exceptional stone and together they make up an unprecedented success story. Before discovering the treasure chest, the whereabouts of the center stone were unknown, but as we had hoped, the stone was indeed a part of our treasure. The center stone is the gem of Humor. The Humor gem unites all the jewels together, forming a successful and lasting masterpiece. Continue on and experience the many ways the Humor gem can be a business saving grace, as we go on to explain its benefits that business owners and managers often forget about.MIchael-Office-NBC-1.JPG

The renowned treasure cove containing all operations large and small

The hunt begins as we venture into the tall grass of the corporate jungle scoping out the treasure. The legendary treasure cove awaits your discovery, containing a plethora of loot ensuring your success. Amidst the plentiful cove, people often wonder what it takes to succeed when in reality, it takes nothing more than a little. Think about any business that you see around you, particular those associated with customer service. You walk into any office and what do you see? People sitting in cubicles avoiding social interaction?  Yes and no. Every business needs a combination of two things: employees that want to work, and a reason. If you give your employees a reason, and encourage social interaction, make them laugh every now and again, it will create a tidal wave of loyalty that will inspire productivity. Think of your office like a family. If your family is unhappy then more than likely you will be unhappy. If they are comfortable and happy, then you will be as well. Your workplace is meant to be somewhere where you can be productive. But how exactly can you reach the maximum productivity? Consider humor for example. A study called the The Wheel Model of Humor indicates that laughter and humor is practically contagious, and that once initiated, virtually everyone gets a dose of laughter somewhere along the line (Robert and Wilbanks, 2012). This occurs even if the joke wasn’t even heard, all it takes is the sound of laughter to get a smile, or a chuckle, or just a good hearty laugh rolling.

The hidden gems of business success present a multitude of reasons as to why they are helpful, but it would probably be better for you to understand how this could become profitable over time. Let’s consider examples set by companies that have been around for decades. Companies such a SouthWest Airlines provide outstanding, if not exemplary customer service to their customers.  SouthWest Airlines not only provides the service of transporting their passengers, but they aim to make their passengers feel comfortable while on the flight. SouthWest has survived for so long by utilizing the simple rule “happy employees equals happy customers.” (, 2013) Some companies aim to provide more of a service and give the customer their product while others aim to connect with the customers themselves. It is fundamental to establish these relationships in order to get to know the customers better.  One of the many benefits of humor comes from the very interaction with the customers. SouthWest airlines greets their customers and entertain them in flight. While waiting at the gate, attendants are given books with games to play with passengers pre-flight if delayed. Onboard, attendants even do impersonations of famous actors or singers such as Mr. Rogers, or Elvis while making announcements (, 2013). Other attendants are more famous for their rapping skills such as David Holmes, a Las Vegas based flight attendant, or the “Rhythmic Ambassador” as introduced at the annual GAAP meeting by Gary Kelly, CEO of Southwest Airlines (Mccartney, 2013).

This generates profit because of customer word-of-mouth. Review submissions from anywhere to SouthWest Airlines directly, or personal blog postings will allow for customers to go back and fly using that airline. How is this profitable? Talk to the customer, give them their product, and encourage them to return. Given that it is the twenty-first century, you are near guaranteed that somewhere on the internet, somebody is giving a good review. Someone else sees this review and has to try this out for themselves. For small businesses, Angie’s List is probably one of the greatest tools that you can use to your advantage solely due to what customers give you for a review, it would allow for your business to grow.  By providing a good product, more business is generated, and more customers are spreading the news. Continue reading