Bring on the laughs

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in Leaders & Managers,Team Building

Put fun in your employees’ days and you’ll motivate them. Good-natured laughter is a byproduct but also a cause of good teamwork.

Take these steps:

Post “caption contests.” Encourage employees to create their own humor by pinning a magazine photo on a bulletin board near the copy machine and inviting staffers to write their own captions. Caution: There’s no company filter on these contests, so make sure your employees know that racial, sexual or religious jokes are off limits. If such a caption goes up anyway, take it down immediately.

Compose group poems. Ask a volunteer to bring in a poem from a published collection or a magazine (The New Yorker is a good source). Circulate the first few lines of the poem and have each employee make up a line— one at a time. When your team has finished its poem, read it aloud at a meeting.

Host a “star search.” Create a stage in your company cafeteria or conference room where volunteers can perform skits, magic or comedy routines at designated times, such as during lunch or on Friday afternoons. With a chance to ham it up, both the performer and audience will have a blast.

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