Grin and share it
Humour vital to work vibe
WHAT is the No.1 ingredient for positive organisational culture?
“Humour,” says business culture expert Kyla Tustin of Holistic Services Group.
Stress is one of the biggest issues in businesses today — and when people are stressed, “we can all go into a part of the brain known as the jerk”, she laughs.
The best way to keep stress levels down and encourage a positive workplace culture is to make it OK to laugh and tap into your innate sense of humour.
“If work isn’t fun and a bit playful, people more easily feel attacked when things go wrong, and from that point, you can’t get anyone to change how they behave,” she says.
According to research, people’s brains are 31 per cent more pro- ductive when they are in a positive state, compared with feeling neutral, negative or stressed.
“Playfulness helps us perform better and it makes us feel better,” Ms Tustin says.
Kindness and compassion are the other big-ticket items that brighten everyone’s day and lift the collective mood, but it is essential to ensure the positivity is authentic.
Most people show just 10 per cent of their personality at work out of fear of judgment, research shows, and Ms Tustin says workplaces are missing out. “Imagine the creativity, imagination and connection workplaces lose out on when we only bring a small part of ourselves to work each day?”
Ms Tustin believes all workers should have a list of their values and strengths displayed on their desks to aid communication and relationships.
Online tests such as the Gallup strength test can help people identify their strengths.
“When we know each other’s strengths and values, it is easier to work together,” she says.
Once you know your personal values and strengths, it becomes easier to find a workplace with a culture that is a good fit.
Ms Tustin suggests asking to speak with team members and other people within an organisation when interviewing for a new job.
“If you don’t find a workplace that aligns with your values, you will quite quickly feel you want to leave and go somewhere else.”
Dislike for an immediate manager ranks only slightly higher than discontent with an organisation’s culture as the main reason people leave a job.
“When everyone within an organisation knows their strengths, feels supported and can be themselves at work, magic happens,” Ms Tustin says.
But changing culture isn’t easy and can only start at the top.
Self-awareness and emotional intelligence in a leader who is willing to receive every piece of feedback is crucial for a positive workplace culture.
The Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources is presently assessing tenders for a contractor to evaluate its culture.
It’s no joke; humour has been identified as an important contributing factor to beating stress in the office and could make workers more productive.