Send in the Clowns

I just spoke at a HR conference and took the opportunity to sit in on a session conducted by Scott Christopher, the co-author of "The Levity Effect." He presented a very humorous and entertaining workshop on the importance of fun and a sense of humor in the workplace. In Juggling Elephants terms, "People sometimes need to laugh, relax and not take themselves so seriously."

What have you done recently to lighten up the atmosphere that you work in? Fun and entertainment doesn't have to come at the expense of productivity and profitability. In fact, it can drive productivity that then results in profitability. Scott gave the example of Southwest Airlines, where having a fun atmosphere for employees was a key element that Herb Keller identified for his company. Thirty years of profit and a "through the roof" job satisfaction rate in an industry that has been struggling is proof that fun and productivity can work hand in hand. If we are going to work hard and be successful, we might as well have fun too. Life is too short!