One of the reasons I've made this my life mission to talk about rocking workplaces is because I did at one time work in a Dilbert-like workplace where you couldn't make up some of the stuff that happened. It was this soul-sucking, fun-sucking workplace, so I decided to talk about how work should not be sucking the life out of us.

How to have fun a work and laugh instead of crying


Introduction of Michael Kerr and his expertise in workplace culture and humor

Discussion on the concept of the humor advantage and its benefits in the workplace

Importance of creating a positive and inspiring workplace culture

The role of humor in reflecting workplace culture, with Dilbert cartoons as an example

The importance of not tolerating jerk-like behavior in the workplace

Unconventional interview questions to gauge a candidate's sense of humor and ability to think on their feet

The role of the office joker in maintaining morale and challenging senior leadership

Injecting fun and humor into meetings to create an open and innovative culture

Addressing uncomfortable topics and offensive humor in a constructive manner

Ideas for leaders to better connect with their dispersed workforce during the pandemic, such as regular check-ins, video messages, and virtual rituals/traditions.



(00:08:23) - How does one obtain a jerk free workplace? Is that a is that like a a Zen thing?

(00:08:33) - No, I think it's a it's a tolerance thing. Think you don't tolerate jerks in your workplace. And to start with, you get your hiring. Right? I stress this. This is so important. Companies have to invest in their hiring like never before. So don't hire jerks to begin with. Take the time to get your hiring right. Hire relentlessly for attitude and emotional intelligence. 

Hire relentlessly to make sure these people are going to fit your culture and help your culture grow. So make sure you're not hiring jerks and then set the expectations. Make sure you have proper onboarding and training and that you're relentlessly committed to building the kind of culture where it is clear that you do not tolerate jerk like behavior, which means you have to define jerk like behavior. You have to talk about it, and you have to make sure everybody is responsible for how they behave, responsible for the attitudes they bring into work.

(00:09:34) - If you're hiring. Is trying to filter out. Keep out the jerks. Does that mean we're looking for humor in the hiring process? Would that would that be one indicator, someone, especially if, as you if they are able to laugh at themselves, you know, and that's got to be quite vulnerable. Imagine you're being hired. You're being interviewed to be hired and the strength it would take to laugh at something you did or said.

(00:10:07) - Yes. Oh, absolutely, George. In fact, my last book, Hire, Inspire and Fuel Their Fire How to Recruit Onboard and Train New Employees to Live Your Culture Out Loud talks just about the importance of hiring with humor and for humor. In fact, you go back to a company like Southwest Airlines, I think was one of the first companies to really embrace this notion of humor, that embrace this philosophy that, you know, work is hard enough. Let's make it fun. Let's make sure we work with people who are fun. And they set that very clear in their recruiting campaigns that were used.

(00:10:39) - A lot of humor in how they hired people. They made it right from the CEO on down. They made it clear, we don't want to work with jerks. Yes, you have to. Before hiring pilots. Yeah, you have to be able to fly the plane. Okay. We need to make sure you can do that. But if you're a jerk and you can fly a plane, we don't want you here. This isn't the company for you. So you go back to, I think maybe the 80s or 70s. Even Southwest Airlines, in interviews, they would be known to do things like when they're interviewing pilots, you know, people would come in all nicely dressed in their suit to impress the interviewer. And they during one interview, they were known to pull out a pair of boxer shorts and say, Wouldn't you be more comfortable if you, you know, did the rest of the interview And this just to gauge the person's reaction. Right. And whether they could take themselves a little lightly.

(00:11:25) - I have the example of Clark Construction Company, where during the middle of a job interview, they will suddenly ask questions like this. 

So our our next question for you, George, is a penguin walks into the room right now and the penguins wearing a sombrero. Why is the penguin here and what does he say? A

nd they ask that question, right? It's a weird question, but they asked that just to kind of gauge if the person could think on their feet, how comfortable they are and if they can laugh a little bit and if they have a little bit of a sense of humor. 

And so if they take themselves too seriously, you know that that's a pretty good way of filtering some of those people out. It's not the only way, but it's it's something, right?

(00:12:06) - Yeah. "Who asked for the two cervezas?"

(00:12:12) - There you go. You got the job. You're hired.