A Good Sense of Humor Valued at Work

A recent national phone survey found that having a good sense of humor was important to helping employees fit into an organization’s corporate culture.

More than 1,400 Chief Financial Officers at U.S. companies with 20 or more employees particpated in the study. Fifty-seven percent said a sense of humor was somewhat important and 42 percent said having a sense of humor was important or very important. “Sometimes a little levity goes a long way toward building rapport among colleagues and defusing workplace tension,” says Accountemps Chair Max Messmer.

If an organization believes that a sense of humor is important to its corporate culture, it may want to evaluate candidates’ good humor in the hiring process. Using behavioral-based interviewing techniques is one method to get candidates talking about times when they have used humor to defuse tense situations or examples when using humor didn’t have the desired outcome.  

Of course, there are different types of humor, and some are not appropriate for the workplace.