Thursday, January 21, 2016

Humor Has Its Place... But Not Here

I've said this often: Be careful with humor in serious times. And what's funny to you may not be funny to someone else. It comes down to knowing your audience and having some compassion.

When Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer recently quipped, there will be “no layoffs… this week,” many at the company were reportedly shaken ( With discussion about Yahoo!'s future and potential cuts already in the air, this attempt at humor was particularly unfunny.

There's some history on misreading the audience at the company. When Yahoo!'s work-at-home policy was reversed in 2013, they reported that it was meant to raise morale and increase collaboration. (You can read more here: 

I agree that face-to-face communication is ideal but there's also a need for flexibility to ensure the best people are able to participate in the enterprise, especially in tech where there's great dispersion of talent.

The bottom line is morale or fun can't be forced or mandated. They're outcomes of an honest, communicative and interesting work environment with visible, empathic leadership.

Between blog posts, I invite you to follow me on Twitter @pauloestreicher.

No comments: