The power of humour as part of communication in the workplace?
We think we’re in agreement that communication in the workplace needs an overhaul from the age old turn off of the CEO annual review or health and safety video. We’ve also looked at how being relatable to your audience is incredibly important. Whatever level you are in the company hierarchy, foreseeing how your message could be perceived by others in different roles within the organisation is key.
Let’s have a recap, we know that corporate TV is “Any video that you make within your company that is focused solely on your staff” and video is the perfect method of corporate communication as it allows you to get your point across in a more efficient, effective way. Being a creative video production company we wholeheartedly agree with this, we continue to see trends favouring video, with more than 500 million hours of videos being watched on YouTube each day!
But how can we get the best out of video in our internal communication? Bite size videos can spread key business messages throughout an organisation in seconds to any device. Dreamtek have developed Brand TV as the latest tool for internal communications, delivering key messages directly to employees whilst integrating perfectly with their current daily technology use. Communicating via video provides transparency across all staffing levels, easy knowledge sharing and gives employees the opportunity to perform to their best ability by ensuring they are kept abreast of company news, rules, regulations, offers and promotions, whilst providing motivation, guidance and support.
Let’s have a little reminder on we can use video to enhance our business communication messages;
So, we know that the right, well planned, video content is crucial and can be a highly effective internal communication tool, but it must be presented in the right way, otherwise you risk turning the audience off. This brings us onto the question; does humour have a place in corporate or learning video? We think that, yes humour certainly does have a place in corporate video. It’s a tricky subject and one that has potential pitfalls, so what are the main concerns? You work hard to reflect your brand story and portray the right tone of voice to your customers. And for sure you want to ensure the workforce understands the way to engage in customer relations in the same way. There can be the inclination to conduct every internal business communication in this way, which could be a real turn off to the staff and appear patronising, as if you don’t trust them to gauge the difference between internal and external communication. Assuming that your staff don’t know how to gauge when to switch on and off corporate speak could be a mistake. A way to prove the worth of good well-placed humour could be by collating feedback from test audiences and focus groups.
It is easy to think that humour will water down the key message in the employee communication, there is the inclination to think that ‘we’re to much of a serious company for all this’. It really is all in the delivery, as is all communication within the workplace. The best way to see this for yourself is to become a TV geek for a week. Take some time to look at the news and current affairs programmes, why do they feature good news stories that bring a smile to the audience’s face? Observing how they transition from these stories to the more serious information is key and will give you some good pointers to use in your internal communication.
Studies have shown that it’s not only employee engagement that increases by adding well placed humour to corporate video, it’s also been proven that knowledge transfer and information retention improves. The Harvard study; Humour, Laughter and those Ah Ha moments covers this exact issue!
The next most common hurdle when trying to deploy humour in business communications is resistance from higher management! We’re not surprised that this is a real worry for individuals in these positions, they spend a high percentage of their working life trying to tackle the most serious of issues within the business. They invest heavily in the look and feel of the brand and as we discussed earlier, tone of voice! Diluting the key business messages with fun and laughter may not always seem like a good idea to them. Although, as we mentioned earlier, higher management need to concentrate on who their audience are and their concerns/wants when planning leadership communication.
This is where feedback is so important! Employee satisfaction feedback on inter office communication can go from a response of “video, what video… oh yeah that boring one…. Can’t really remember”. To, “oh wow I love that show… those two presenters are so funny…. but there’s also loads of useful information as well that actually helps me with my job!!!” A few pieces of feedback like this are hard to argue against!
How can you add humour to your business communications?
The double act – This allows one person to be seen as the humour component and gives light relief to any subject or story, they also back up the straight guy to add weight to the key messages. The straight guy then remains the key information deliverer and the more content you make the more effective this becomes. This method allows enough distraction from the serious tone to capture attention but not dilute the employee engagement with the desired message being delivered.
A variation on the straight and humour component – Here you can add a fall guy off camera…. Isn’t that right producer Andy? …… What do you mean you’re not really there? ….. Honestly…!
This again allows the humour to come from a third party allowing the presenter to deliver the important messages!
Add good news stories from inside the business – Create a rapport with the audience by making light of their interactions and celebrating their achievements! Employees are likely to be interested and listen to news about their colleagues in a corporate communication, this also drives the desire to succeed and be recognised for their achievements.
How can Dreamtek help with your corporate TV?
All of these take time and careful planning. But they also need to be handled by people that know what they are doing, it’s a fine line! That’s where Dreamtek can help your business make this a reality. We have the instructions to how this works, we already help other big businesses create the very same content and successfully win the attention of their workforce. It’s like a recipe, a touch of professional equipment, a sprinkling of the correct talent and expertise all put together within the Dreamtek brand tv strategy gives you the perfect end result!
Alternatively, it could be you already have an in house team of creators? Then Dreamtek can help here as well. Some re training and careful consulting could see you with comprehensive strategy for the future of your communications. Brand TV will save your business time and money whilst improving your internal communications. Communicating via video provides transparency across all staffing levels, easy knowledge sharing and gives employees the opportunity to perform to their best ability by ensuring they are kept abreast of company news, rules, regulations, offers and promotions, whilst providing motivation, guidance and support.
Why not get in contact with the team and see how our Brand tv strategy could help your businesses communications or learning development department.
Get in touch to create your free pilot episode with us today!