Employee Morale in Tough Times: It’s Okay to Laugh

I recently had the opportunity to participate in an all-employee Zoom meeting while working with a client. Like many company meetings now, the discussion topics centered on the impact of the coronavirus. There were updates on the economic conditions, the impact to their industry, the government stimulus packages and the potential of layoffs.

You would expect the mood to be dour, but these team members were smiling and laughing. It turned out that a few people had gotten together prior to the meeting and discussed that since none of them have had a haircut and dye-jobs were growing out, why don’t they all wear wigs? So that’s exactly what they did. People looked ridiculous, and coupled with the creative Zoom virtual backgrounds it was hilarious. The team members were laughing and joking with each other despite all of the horrible news that surrounded them.

The Takeaway

It was a reminder to me that it’s okay to lighten the mood during the tough times. In fact, this may be the perfect time for a little smile therapy. When we’re inundated with perpetual bad news, which is escalated and reinforced by our 24/7 news cycle, it’s easy to get stuck in the doldrums. But it’s also true that if there has ever been a time when we need some levity, this is it.

This team didn’t poke fun at the situation or make jokes at anyone’s expense. It was just silliness, and it made people laugh. We all have a tough slog in front of us, but an occasional break from the seriousness to partake in some fun and laughter makes the journey much more bearable.

If you would like to talk about how you can encourage a productive, positive culture during these tough times, please give me a call (651-398-9280) or send a note to rob@robtracy.net.

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