I changed my password to "incorrect". Do you know why? Whenever I forget it, what does computer say? "Your password is incorrect".
Jokes, funny observations, comments were floating freely in the air all through SparkZ program held at one of the weekends recently as part of the Annual Celebrations of ZenQ, one of the fast growing pure-play testing service companies headquartered in city. Large part of the program which lasted well over six hours comprised of “Humour”, “Witty” remarks, “Funny” observations, cracking jokes, enacting a skit to mimicking personalities, as if there was a nonstop Stand Up Comedy show was going on.
There was a reason for this. Wit, Humour is now considered as an alternative employee engagement as it has many benefits. It is considered alternative to even drinks in a bar. Humour is preferred over traditional fun and cultural activities. There is certainly a sudden shift towards humorous programs. So humour in business, particularly otherwise serious IT industry, is here to stay.
Laughing with your colleague is great because it temporarily makes you forget about the pressures of the job, says East India Comedy, which provides one stop solution for everything comedy in India.
HSBC, Puma, RBS, Deloitte, Vodafone, Essar, Amazon, ZenQ, KMPG, Standard Chartered, Microsoft, Exim India, IDFC, Cadbury, Viacom 18, Phoenix, Seagrams, Sodexo, HLL have used services of comedians or used comedy as part of their employment engagement programs.
Life of the IT professionals move around projects, deadlines, deliveries, debugging and so on and so forth.
We are living in the world of deadlines. Software Development professionals' life is full of deadlines and extended deadlines yet times very stressful too said Praveen, a Software Testing Professional with ZenQ.
Is there any way out to burst the stress? -- Using Humour, seems some quick fix solution for now for the IT industry.
Using Humor in Business is nothing but lightening up from the work load pressures. Laughter is not just good for health; it’s also good for one’s pocket too.
No wonder why more and more corporate executives want their employees laugh more.
“I think the best thing to solve this problem is to insert humor in every presentation and in interactions with employees” Murali Bollu, MD and CEO of ZenQ gave his witty remark.
Humor is greatly underused in corporate world and more so in IT industry. It has a very distinct advantage to business executives. It can differentiate you from the crowd. It can command attention, that is what all of us vie for, Murali says.
Rakesh, another software professional says it can create rapport, defuse conflict and motivate people. Build goodwill and get an audience on your side.
Humour brings in big positive difference for not just IT folks, but to everyone at home and work, puts Bharani K Aroll, VP, India Operations & Global IT/BPO Services, Butler America. An organization is a collection of people from different walks of life with different perspectives. Laughing together brings everyone together irrespective of their background. Humour is the excellent gift given to us by god, use it to deal with people effectively, to get work done, maintain and improve relationships, influence people and win friends for life time, he said.
Says Rakesh, in managerial position, you have to take some decisions which may go in or against your favour. There may be ups and downs in everyday business life. Humour lightens up the situation.
It can help ease out tension of job seekers in IT recruitment interviews. Mostly they come with interview stress. With humour we can make them feel comfortable, open up and say what he or she wants to say. Humour adds tremendous amount of value in such situations, said Praveen a Senior Software Testing Professional.
I pick up lot of wit from father mother ladai, jagda (fighting). Wit brings life into routine jobs says Asma, an IT professional working at ZenQ.
Bharani K Aroll disagrees to the popular perception as Indian family system are serious types. Humour is very much part of family in India. See the fun in our marriages unlike too formal in west. Lot of bonding happens during the rituals of Indian marriages because of fun everyone participates in.
India has a rich tradition of humour and fun, Bharani says.
Murali Bollu has a slightly different view on this. The corporate culture has to go down from top to bottom. If a boss is witty, then it is well taken. Otherwise witty employees have trouble. But, now things are changing, he adds quickly. A sense of humor is now becoming part of the art of leadership, of getting along with people and getting things done by many senior corporate executives. It starts with executive education, says he.
This is evident from the fact that number of companies are hiring stand-up comedians to lift up the mood of their staff. India's ace comedian Kapil Sharma demands a bomb. When approached his Celebrity Management Company they quoted a whopping Rs 1 crore per a show. Another talented Comedian Bharti Singh demands about 15 lakhs for a performance. Comedian Jaspal Bhatti is a household name in India.
Stand-up comedy shows are dominating prime time television and going by their soaring TRPs. Sunil Grover, Kiku Sharda, Ali Sagar, Manish Paul, Sudesh Lehri, Rajiv Thakur are among these standup comedians sought after by corporate houses.
Now humour is a favourite past time for many. There are many comedy clubs in many IT Companies and leading Management Schools and IT companies.
"Use of humor with care in conversations with clients translates to better connect and more business," says Chandrakanth, Senior VP of ZenQ.
Managing people and leading people with humour relieves work stress, boredom, boosts engagement. It comforts people at work. Gives an impression that everything seems to be alright in the company.
CP Gurnani, MD and CEO of Tech Mahindra is known for his wit says Bharani. Known as ‘CP’ within his peer group, he led Tech Mahindra's transformation journey, and one of the biggest turnarounds of Indian Corporate History - the acquisition and merger of Satyam. He made two 2 billion company to grow to 4 billion US Dollars. His inimitable style of leadership, combined with his sharp focus and wit he made his mark, says he.
To me Vineet Nayar, the former CEO of HCL Technologies and Founder of Sampark Foundation is the most witty Indian Corporate Executive i have ever seen or heard said Murali Bollu. This Maverick CEO who lead a team of 65000 people, persuaded them so well to jump into future. He moved so well with his colleagues. At one point of time he even danced on the stage with them.
You need not tell jokes to be witty. Funny quotes are enough. A simple, easy to use and proven methods in injecting humour into any presentation, as IT professionals need to make lot of them. No matter what you quote, but it must be simple, relevant and must illustrate a point.
Certainly humour has arrived in businesses and more so in IT industry. It can help corporates laughing on the way to the bank.
After all, everyone needs a good laugh at the end of the day.