I’m just back from working with the Montana Guaranteed Student Loan Program of the State of Montana where they asked me to do my motivational humorist speaker thing and talk to them about bringing more humor to their workplace.

It was a hoot. A total blast.

My impressions?

First, it was amazing to see them come in not knowing what to expect of me or the retreat in general. Many of them were weary, guarded, and generally reserved. But as we laughed, joked and played through the morning and into the afternoon, they not only relaxed… but they got into it. It was really fun to see the arms uncross, the guarded look turn into smiles, and the quiet room turn into a loud party atmosphere.

The transition was exciting to watch.

It was also fun to see how may of the people already knew some (if not all) of what we were talking about. But even when we “know” something, we are not always doing it.

And finally, it was very cool to help facilitate a list of actionable ideas that this group (and these individuals) could use to create, inspire and maintain a light, productive, humorous and positive workplace.

Here are Brad’s Top Ideas for Leading the Way to Laughter at Work, with all of the specific ideas provided by the Montana Student Loan Folks.

Model Humor Yourself
1. Share funny stories
2. Share/forward fun email.
3. Take the time to get to know your group; will make work more fun and meaningful
4. Create Fun Events Each Day
5. Share Funny names of customers. (There are many!)
6. Install (and use) a fart machine.
7. Wall Of Shame. (Create a wall of fun photos, crazy emails, and other stuff that can grow over time.)

Institutionalize Humor
1. Have a crazy gift (like singing flowers) that you pass around to grumpy people.
2. Have a high five club. Create a club where the “most upbeat” person of the day gets high fives… and maybe a $5 gift card
3. Create a time of the day where everybody dances for 5 min.
4. Create a plastic turkey, and give it to the most upbeat person each day.
5. Play Through-the-day BINGO. (Perhaps over the intercom, perhaps one number every 10 min. If there is no intercom, just shout it over the cubicles!
6. Email jokes of the day. Have somebody in charge of this.
7. Great each other in the office. (Brad’s note: this sounds dumb, but it’s amazing to me how many stories I hear where office mates don’t really take the time to say a simple “hi.”)

Humor Rituals
-Have a bell on your desk and ring it when you successfully complete a task.
-Have manager send somebody random home early on Friday
-Create an Intra-Office Olympics. Chair races!
-Daily cubical volleyball
-Have a single “bad” chair that you surreptitiously sneak to other peoples desk.
-Use clown noses at work. Put them on when you’re in a bad team.
-Send positive emails
-Have ST time. (This is a crazy time where the women (and the men I suppose) get together to do a quick 3 min touch up of their make up together.

Inspire Play at Work
-Have rubber band fights
-Have Marshmallow fights
-Take the time to create social and personal activities with work mates
-Have a planned and scheduled recess. (Karen is going to email proof of this to Brad.)
-Decorate the office for made-up, imaginary holidays.
-Have Group Hugs
-Have duct-tape-ball fights
-Have group walks (and walking meetings.)

Play at work

Have baby picture day. Baby photo day
-Change name plates on the desks
-Scheduled Nerf Basketball games.
-Ice Cream with co-workers.
-Play a lot! Keep it up!
-Create a play room at work. Foosball?, TV? (Bruce says, this room is called, “A bar.”)

Hey Montana! A favor? What was the ONE “Ah Ha” you got out of this seminar / keynote? What will you do differently based on our time together?

Thanks Kids. It was a total blast.

Need a humor in the workplace seminar or keynote for your organization? Need a Humorist Speaker?

Brad Montgomery
Motivational Comedian Speaker, Humorist, Humor in the Workplace Pro

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One response to “Montana Student Loan Folks? Your Speaker Checks In”

  1. Katie says:

    Hey Brad,

    We are still talking about you and our retreat. I’ve been told this has been the best all staff retreat ever:)! We all had a great time!
    You have reminded us of some of the fun things we did in the past and with just a little effort we can get back into the habit of having fun at work!

    Katie

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