Recently some colleagues and I have finished up and submitted for review at a journal (fingers crossed) a research article on humor and its influence on the relationship between supervisors and employees. What we found, after crunching the numbers, much like the picture below, was interesting, especially when it comes to the relationship between humor and supervisors and employees.
The short answer for those who don't want to read is that if you have a supervisor that you think is funny or has a good sense of humor, you will feel nearly 25% closer to that person, emotionally speaking. Also, nearly 10% of how burned out you feel as an employee is influenced by how humorous you find your supervisor. That is, nearly 10% of your level of burnout is tied to your boss. If your boss is funny, you're nearly 10% less burned out. Imagine that. You're a supervisor that's either seen as funny or as having a sense of humor is going to have people feel closer to you by nearly 25% over a boss that isn't funny. A couple clever little jokes, or some funny comics, and your well on your way to creating a better and more effective work environment. Those are pretty big numbers. But more importantly, this evidence adds to the chorus of voices and the data that shows how important humor creating and maintaining a good work space.
So if you're thinking of ways that you can improve as a boss, then look no further than humor. Well, there are other things you need to look at of course, but humor is not difficult to do. You have a sense of humor and you can find what other people find as funny, so look into it. Pay attention to what the people you work for, with, and who work for you find funny. Ask them to send on a funny meme or comic. Are you part of a job that has well known jokes that people in that profession share? Nurses and doctors have lots jokes, your profession likely does. The interwebs are a great place for that. I tried to graph the numbers, but I couldn't bring myself to do it. So I found this instead.
There are lots of reasons to use humor at the office and in your organization, like your health and your ability to feel closer to those you work with. But now there are even more reasons why you should use humor. You're going to help those you work with feel closer to you and help them to feel less burned out. So go out there and sow the seeds of levity. Mirth will bloom shortly after that.