In their preliminary assessment of the company’s staff and general work environment the research group identified a lack of humour in the work place as being a likely factor behind the poor sales record of the sales team. They proposed a radical idea and that was that management encourage the telling of a few good sales jokes during the course of the following month to determine whether a happier work environment resulted and whether this in turn led to greater productivity and most importantly sales targets being reached.
Each member of the sales team as well as those in administration and management were provided with a selected number of sales jokes and other funny anecdotes. Each person was asked to tell at least one joke each week. They were to record how they felt when they told the sales jokes or stories and also the reaction they received form the other staff listening to them.
At the end of one month the productivity levels across all sections of the company had improved. The sales team had achieved the highest sales figures in more than 18 months and this was during a relatively tough economic cycle. By telling one of two sales jokes during the course of the working day the sales team had become much happier, each person in the sales team felt that they were more confident and had developed a much stronger bond with the other members in the team. The team worked much more cooperatively and helped one another out in achieving sales targets.
In the administration area of the company staff were also happier and keen to come to work. They felt that their jobs were less monotonous and were keen to ensure that their work was checked thoroughly and any invoices went out on time. This impacted on the cash flow of the company because with invoices going out sooner, payments were received quicker and there was no requirement to rely on overdraft facilities to fund purchase and other operational costs.
At a management level there was a much better relationship cultivated between managers and staff. Whereas before managers had felt isolated and disliked by staff simply by adding a touch of humour through some good sales jokes, management and staff related much better.
The mood therefore not only improved in the sales area but by the simple telling of a few funny sales jokes those staff in administration and management were also uplifted and became much more enthusiastic and friendly and as a result the company turned its operations around and produced a large profit at the end of the financial year.
If you are looking to improve your sales figures and profitability then consider your work environment and do not be afraid to encourage humour in the office. You will reap rewards in more ways than one!