The “Three Pillars of Improv” help Millennials use humor to build an authentic and fun communication style
Millennials are looking for a work environment where their employers are investing in their talent as well as their humanity.
Imagine a world where everyone comes to the office everyday revved up and ready to go. You walk through the hallway to your desk knowing that your team is like a family. The functional kind of family that is. Sr. Leadership is fostering an amazingly positive workplace culture, everyone is encouraging creativity and productivity to flourish. People at your company understand how to work as one big team and they support each other to do their best on every project.
Does this sound like a normal day at your office? If so, you are well on your way to creating an atmosphere of collaboration that will pay dividends well into the future. If not, continue reading and we’ll show you how you can take the steps to move your team from as deep as the doldrums up to a whole new world.
What’s missing from the workplace these days?
The traditional “office” is changing. People are working remotely more often, whether it’s due to “At Home Fridays” or because they sit on the other side of the country. Communication styles are changing as fast as new technology and websites can be introduced. And, as always, workers are expected to do more with less. As humans, we have a huge capacity to accept “the new normal” in stride. However, we may not notice how this is impacting us and our workplace until the warning signs are too big to ignore. Signs may include:
- Remote workers are feeling disconnected from the team
- Stifled creativity and passion
- Messages getting communicated ineffectively
- Falling productivity
- A culture of cynicism and negativity appearing
- People looking for a self-win rather than a win for the team
It’s easy for leadership to give the direction, “A happy office is a productive office, so BE HAPPY!” But the management has the question “How do I make that happen, exactly?” This is often elusive to answer. (Spoiler: We’ll tell you how in a little bit.)
Some companies try to answer the question with an offsite meeting. So they go to Las Vegas. Leadership gives powerful motivational speeches. Employees are busy with clanking knives as they eat their way through a chicken dinner. Then for the highlight of the evening, everyone is “invited” to go to the bar next door to sing karaoke as a team building event.
Other companies simply put a foosball table in the break room.
If those solutions work for you, then that’s great! And if they keep everyone motivated for the long run, then that’s even better. However, we often see those solutions being stop gaps at best because they miss the heart of the issue.
How good is your company at creating the environment that attracts the best talent?
There is a fundamental shift happening in the American workplace as Millennials begin to make up the largest percentage of the workforce. As every generation does, they are changing the way the workplace looks. Business Insider reported on a study by PGI saying:
- 71% of Millennials want their co-workers to be a second family
- 88% want a fun and social environment (60% of Boomers feel this way)
How good of a job is your company doing in providing this type of atmosphere?
Far from being the generation lost in their iPhones, Millennials are leading a paradigm shift by demanding that their time in the office be more inclusive, more collaborative, and dare I say it: “More Happy.”
Also, as a generation that grew up with advertising at every turn and corporate self-indulgence that almost wrecked the global economy, they are a generation which highly values authenticity. Both for Millennials who are your employees as well as your customers, it’s important for everyone in your company to learn how to communicate in an authentic manner.
The trick is building a corporate culture which both embraces authenticity and creates a familial environment that brings “The Happy” in full force.
Humor builds authentic, fun communication
I know most people don’t pour over humor research as much as I do so let me share a few fun facts. Bringing humor into the office has many potential upsides including productivity goes up(American Psychological Association), people are less stressed(www.sciencedaily.com), you get paid more(Harvard Business Review), and you, your team, and your stakeholders are happier (Journal of Aging Research).
Additional research(TEDx Talk by Andrew Tarvin) shows the main reasons people don’t use humor at work are:
- Fear that the boss/co-workers won’t approve of using humor
- People don’t know how to use humor or just don’t think they’re funny
Overcoming the roadblocks
The first issue is easy to overcome. Just by bringing a training company like ImprovThis in to do a presentation you’ll demonstrate to your team your office is an environment where using humor is not only approved of but it’s encouraged.
To break through the second concern, ImprovThis has developed “The Three Pillars of Improv”. This is a unique way of looking at the rules improvisers use to be successful on stage and we have created training activities based on these rules that work well in the workplace.
Many people have a fear of trying to use humor because they have it confused with actually being funny. Our workshops focus on using humor as a communication skill, not on being an entertainer. This takes away any pressure felt around trying to find laughs.
What sets ImprovThis apart from the rest
Other companies who do improv training may do a great job of entertaining you and your team with a funny show. Often corporate training is a side business compared to their theater shows and comedy classes. At ImprovThis our sole mission is to create fun, hands-on workshop style training sessions to build closer, more collaborative teams. We will be entertaining as facilitators, don’t you worry, but our goal is to help you make your environment one that you and your team are looking forward to driving through rush hour traffic to get to. Daily.
To learn more about ImprovThis or to schedule a time to talk to us, check us out at: