The Value of a Sense of Humor in the Workplace

In an October 2011 survey, the temporary staffing firm, Accountemps, asked 1,400 Chief Financial Officers whether an employee’s sense of humor was an important part of fitting into their company’s culture.

The following are the responses to the survey:

*22% – “very important”

*57% – “somewhat important”

*20% – “not important at all”

*1% – “I don’t know.”

The good news from this survey is that 79% of companies felt that humor had some value for their organizations.

“Sometimes a little levity goes a long way toward building rapport among colleagues and defusing workplace tension,” Accountemps Chair Max Messmer said in a news release.

HR POINTER: A good sense of humor can be an indicator of how well an employee will handle stress in the workplace.

If a sense of humor is important in an organization’s culture, it should be a consideration in the interviewing and hiring process.

As such, the interview process:

1. Must not be overly formal and

2. Must include appropriate behavior-based interview questions to assess how candidates use their sense of humor in the workplace or how it helped ease work situations.

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