Survey Says a Sense of Humor is an Important Part of Company Culture
It’s said that laughter is the best medicine and it also may be one of the keys to success at work, a new Accountemps survey suggests. Seventy-eight percent of CFOs interviewed said an employee’s sense of humor is at least somewhat important for fitting into the company’s corporate culture, with 22 percent stating humor is very important.
CFOs were asked, “How important is an employee’s sense of humor in him or her fitting into your company’s corporate culture?” Their responses:
|Not important at all||22%|
“A sense of humor can boost moods and improve connections among colleagues,” said Mike Steinitz, executive director of Accountemps. “Creating a positive and friendly work environment can lead to higher levels of employee engagement and productivity.”
Steinitz added, “Not all business matters are funny, but a little levity can go a long way, particularly when it comes to defusing tension or recovering from a minor mishap. There’s nothing like a joke to put people at ease.”
Accountemps offers five rules for using humor in the workplace:
- Show your personality. When used appropriately, humor can help build rapport with colleagues. Interviewing for a new job? Consider weaving in some wit to build chemistry with the hiring manager and show that you are approachable – a trait of a good leader. As an added bonus, it can help alleviate nervous jitters.
- Consider the circumstances. Comedians know timing is everything. While a chuckle or two can help diffuse stressful situations, cracking one-liners during a serious meeting is an unwelcome distraction.
- Use the right medium. Be cautious when using humor in an email or instant message – it might fall flat or be misinterpreted because the recipient cannot see your facial expressions or hear the tone of your voice.
- Laugh with them – not at them. Never use humor at the expense of others, and be mindful about sarcastic or demeaning comments that can be off-putting or offensive. Poking fun at yourself is safer; it shows that you are self-aware and don’t take yourself too seriously.
- Keep it G-rated. Steer clear of inappropriate or negative remarks that could make someone feel uncomfortable. If you’re unsure of how your joke may be received, keep it to yourself.
About the Research
The survey was developed by Accountemps and conducted by an independent research firm. It includes responses from more than 2,200 CFOs from a stratified random sample of companies in more than 20 of the largest U.S. metropolitan areas.
Accountemps, a Robert Half company, is the world’s first and largest specialized staffing service for temporary accounting, finance and bookkeeping professionals. The staffing firm has 325 locations worldwide. More resources, including job search services and the company’s blog, can be found at roberthalf.com/accountemps.