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Workplace blogs

Laugh and Grow Rich!

February 8 is official “Laugh and Grow Rich Day,” which raises an interesting philosophical question, do we laugh because we are rich, or do we become rich because we laugh?

A study by the Hay Group’s Center for Research and Innovation in Boston found a positive correlation between the size of executives’ bonuses and their use of humor, suggesting that yes, more funny = more money! The study of 60 executives also found that outstanding executives (as defined and assessed by their superiors) used humor more than twice as often (17.8 times per hour vs.

Can humor really help you laugh all the way to the bank?

7.5 times per hour) during the study interviews as so-called average executives.

A survey of 737 CEO’s by Hodge Cronin and Associates – an Illinois-based executive search and management consulting firm – found that a whopping 98% of CEOs would rather hire someone with a good sense of humor than someone with a more serious demeanor.

Finally, considering that more and more companies are hiring first and foremost for attitude, then one could certainly argue that a healthy sense of humor pays off financially here as well by helping people land a job.

At an organization level, 81% of employees who work for a Fortune  “Top 100” company that ranked as a great place to work by the Great Places to Work Institute, agreed with the statement “I work in a fun environment.” A study by Hewitt and Associates found that companies with higher levels of employee engagement outperformed companies with low employee engagement levels by 19% on shareholder returns. They also found that companies who focused on employee morale issues during the recent economic downturn came out of the recession much better off than companies who ignored employee morale concerns.

So maybe there is something to this notion of laughing and growing rich? Certainly companies such as Southwest Airlines, Zappos, and Beryl Health Call Centers have found that more humor improves the bottom line and helps them laugh all the way to the bank.

And returning to our opening philosophical question: Regardless of the impact on your personal finances or you company’s bottom line, doesn’t life feel so much richer the more you fill it with laughter?

And really, isn’t that the ultimate bottom line?

Michael Kerr 2018. Michael Kerr is an international Hall of Fame business speaker, business trainer, executive coach and the author of six books including The Humor Advantage: Why Some Businesses are Laughing All the Way to the Bank. 


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