Why Laughing is the Key to Staff Retention

Why Laughing is the Key to Staff Retention

Wondering why your staff retention rates are taking a hit lately?

According to Monster, most businesses should be aiming to achieve an annual turnover rate under 15%. Statistically, private sector organisations in retailing, catering, call centres, construction and media usually suffer from this problem the most.

So, why is this?

Is it your company’s benefits package? Can you not offer them the training and career progression that they strive for? Or do people just not laugh very often in the workplace?

Wait, what?

That’s right, while the other elements are certainly key triggers, laughing and the overall work environment is arguably even more important – no joke!

Here’s why…

Creating a stronger unity

Whether an employee works as an administrator or is managing your sales team, humour helps to develop a better bond between colleagues and gets them working for each other.

Workplace expert and author of Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant, Lynn Taylor, says: “Employees like to work for and with others who have a sense of humour. We all prefer to have fun at work. It should not feel like an indentured servitude environment.”

“Humour allows both employees and managers to come together, realising that we all seek common ground. A good sense of humour helps us to de-dramatize problems, making them less intimidating and thus easier to solve. It’s a great tension-breaker. We don’t have to crack jokes all day, but well-placed humour that is clever and apropos to a business situation always enhances an employee’s career.”

Humour can also help minimise conflicts, encourages participation and opens up the channel of communication between staff.

Improved creativity and productivity

Having a good old joke doesn’t just help staff retention, it can get the creative juices flowing and increase productivity too. Or at least that’s the thoughts of international business speaker, Mike Kerr.

He says: “Humour is a key ingredient in creative thinking.”

“It helps people play with ideas, lower their internal critic, and see things in new ways…It also stands to reason that if you’re in a more jovial atmosphere, you’ll have more passion for what you do. Your ethic will increase, and your enthusiasm will likely be contagious. It’s a win-win for you and your employer.”

Not bad for a few “knock-knock” jokes!

Ultimately, it’s about building a team atmosphere in which every member is willing to go the extra mile for each other. Having a laugh and developing strong bonds will do that. Plus, if you’re getting great results and enjoying yourselves while doing it, there’s also a strong probability that it’ll keep staff turnover at an all-time low as well.

Humour can improve health

They do say “laughter is the best medicine”! The truth is, improving and maintaining your employees’ health is imperative to any company.

Put it this way, if you’re constantly throwing work at your employees, overwhelming them and failing to support them, their health will drastically drop.

It’s all about creating a work environment that makes employees want to get up out of bed and come to work every day.

Mental health within the workplace is a very serious and relevant issue today. In fact, work-related stress, anxiety and depression account for 45% of total lost days in 2016.

It’s also believed that over 450,000 people experience some form of mental health issues due to work-related stress every year.

As an employer, it’s your responsibility to offer a helping hand whenever possible. You can do this by:

  • Running weekly or monthly informal catch-up meetings
  • Carrying out monthly anonymous surveys to get honest feedback on situations
  • Help staff achieve a good work-life balance by delegating work more effectively and giving them extra time off

You can find out more about this in our previous blog: ‘How to Support Your Employees’ Mental Health’.

Your guide to having a laugh!

Not all of us are blessed with the same funny bones as Michael McIntyre or Lee Evans. So, how on earth can you transform yourself from a boring fart into an absolute hoot?

Well, a lot of natural laughter happens off the back of talking about events in popular culture and everyday situations.

It’s just a case of being observant!

However, the most important part of all is to try and loosen up. Telling jokes and having a laugh is all about the delivery. You could tell the most amusing story, but if you say it in a dull monotone voice, you’ll get a bank of straight faces looking back at you.

While it’s great to be passionate and serious about what you do, there’s also no harm in injecting a bit of your personality into the conversation. Give your colleagues and employees a little taste of the ‘home’ version of yourself.

And if that doesn’t work, you could always resort to telling a few of these jokes!


So, what’s the moral of the story? Lighten up!

Seeing as we spend a huge part of our lives at work, it’s vital that you make the most of it. You’ll then be able to create a buzzing atmosphere and a work environment where employees actually want to come to.

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2 years ago

My opinion is a happier workplace is more productive. When the pay is good the boss is not loud and fowl mouthed the employees work way better.