The Levity Effect: Why it Pays to Lighten Up

When you’re listening to a speech at an industry conference, what do you remember most? The boring power point presentation that packs 200 words onto one slide or the story that made you LOL?

Ok. That may not be rocket science but our latest Book Club entry, The Levity Effect by Adrian Gostick and Scott Christopher, takes the importance of fun to another level. It demonstrates through studies and anecdotal evidence that injecting levity into your workplace helps to increase productivity and ultimately boosts your bottom line. A happy workforce also doesn’t leave – even if you want them to. But seriously, leaders of the most successful companies are fun-loving and understand the importance of not taking themselves too seriously. Fun-loving candidates nab the job. And so the virtuous cycle of fun allegedly continues.

The book also provides a laundry list of things you could institute to invoke fun into your workplace. I was proud and happy to find that SGA already does many of these things. After all, fun is one of our core values. Ok, Stephen doesn’t do a hiring dance when a candidate accepts a job (but he’s working on it) and we haven’t yet had a human bowling tournament (we’re building a bowling alley in the new office). But we have monthly potlucks with green food themes; game day Wednesdays, ad-hoc happy hours, Halloween dress-up day and bring your dog to work days where staff get to mingle with the pooches. And we laugh – a lot.

How does your company fare in the fun-o-meter? Key is to make it genuine and have it come from the staff so it isn’t top down. There’s nothing like top down to kill the fun. As a first step to bringing fun to the workplace, try to infuse fun into a company-wide email or client presentation. We guarantee it will get your staff’s attention as well as goodwill.

Check out one of the authors’ website to see levity in action.

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