Lessons from our Childhood – LAUGHTER – Using the Humor Key in Corporate

9.00am, Monday Mornings in a office situation, we witness that security guard say morning to not so smiling employees who enter office.

9.00 to 06.30pm, Any Weekday, Many office colleagues in and around the never ending cubicles, all wishing each other.

What is missing is a smile on their face. We are all so lost in the corporate woods that probably the last time we laughed was when we were children.

Our agendas are pre occupied with HR Strategy which consist of Best Practices, revisiting employee compensation norms, performance indicator, employee engagement, with worries of dipping E-Sat scores and increasing Attrition levels.

So the question for us to introspect is are we missing out subtle and easy ideas under the heavy sounding word called STRATEGY, FRAMEWORK, etc. ?

‘Laughter is the best medicine’, they say. Our bodies are playing host to so many different sort of medicines that it is surprising to note that many of us have no place for laughter as a medicine, if not as a good hygiene factor for healthy life.

So the rational brain would ask what does the research say well some interesting facts are :

Did you know that-

  • The average pre-schooler laughs of smiles 400 times a day. Or that the number drops to 15 times a day by the time one reaches 35 years.
  • People laugh only 35% as much as they think they do.
  • Laughter releases endorphins, a chemical 10 times more powerful than the pain reliving drug- morphine, into the body with same exhilarating effect as doing as strenuous exercise
  • Every time you have a good hearty laugh, you burn up 3.5 calories.
  • Laughing increases oxygen intake thereby replenishing invigorating cells. It also increases the pain threshold, boosts immunity and relives stress.
  • Laughter can not only decrease the boardroom temperature, but it can ease the decision making process. A free and happy mind can work towards better & innovative solutions. Every year or two an employee survey is undertaken to understand the climate of the organization understand the mood of the employee, towards which side the organization is swinging. There are tools, techniques to measure this from various dimensions/ parameters.

    How can we translate the spirit of this at workplace is the next big challenge ?

    As a proactive and futurist function as HR we have to agree that that there is merit in thinking about laughter as medicine or tool for intervention.

    We at Strategist believe that it will not only do good to the organization but it will also go a long way in improving the health of the individual. If we are able to incorporate as a major attribute in our policies, processes and practices we are sure that workplace and corporate journey which are so synonymous with stress will be rejoiced for.

    To begin with can we explore teaching managers should be taught to use humor/ laughter with their team (Laughter is a big stress buster). Can we explore organizations have a laughter measure in the critical metric, Why can’t team be given awards for the maximum laughs for the day, Well, we have ideation rooms, conference and meeting rooms, and cafeteria but why can’t we have laughter corners. Can we explore having laughter training sessions?

    A “Laughometer” would be a great invention to the corporate world…

    We hope to invent the same soon …

    by Shilpi Sahay

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