Beth Nilssen
June 8, 2023 / Great Advice

When’s the last time you laughed at work?

Laughing at work is a good thing. It’s been proven to make leaders more effective and keep employees satisfied. What does that look like in a walk-in hair salon?


Have you experienced a good, hearty laugh lately? I'm talking about the kind that leaves you breathless and clutching your belly. Can you recall the funniest incident that ever occurred at your workplace, resulting in an uproar of laughter?*


If you can't recall such moments, then you're missing out on the scientifically proven health benefits of laughter. And if you happen to be a business owner or manager, you're also missing out on maximizing your employees' potential. According to an article in Harvard Business Review, humor in the workplace can enhance productivity by as much as 10%.


I remember a story Great Clips president Rob Goggins shared about being in a Great Clips hair salon recently. From the moment he walked in, he could sense a camaraderie and positive energy radiating throughout the salon—stylists chatting with customers, customers smiling back at themselves in the mirrors, and the frequent sound of laughter. Clearly, the owner of this hair salon franchise knew how to create an environment that made you want to be there.


Pete Gilreath, a Great Clips franchisee in the Nashville, Tennessee market, also believes in the power of that first impression:


“I stress to our stylists the importance of what the customer feels within the first 10 to 15 seconds they are in the salon—it’s a huge determining factor in whether or not that person comes back,” Pete says.


“The customer has to like their stylist, and they have to like their haircut, but they also have to feel, ‘Hey, this place feels good.’”


And feeling good is often the result of laughter. It’s been proven to alleviate stress, enhance engagement, and even stimulate creativity, precision, and productivity (all of which are highly desirable in a walk-in hair salon!). Research conducted at the Mayo Clinic indicates that "when it comes to stress relief, more giggles and guffaws are just what the doctor ordered." Laughter can improve oxygenation in the heart, lungs, and muscles, increase the brain's release of endorphins, and uplift moods while reducing physical pain.


It's evident that humor, often leading to laughter, is a valuable asset in the workplace. Stanford University psychology professor Jennifer Baker and Stanford lecturer Naomi Bagdona (who happens to be a comedian) conducted a global study on the impact of humor in work environments.


“We can do serious things without taking ourselves so seriously,” they said in a Ted talk. “Laughing together makes us feel more connected. It floods our brains with the same hormones associated with love. And who doesn’t want to feel more joy and love in our lives?”


It’s definitely a philosophy that nestles neatly with Great Clips values, beginning with “Be Kind” and culminating with “Have Fun.” I would love to hear about the funniest incident you’ve ever encountered at work. (Check out mine below.*) In the meantime, I’ve decided to kick off each day by watching the YouTube video of Baby Laughing Hysterically at Tearing Paper. After all, can 125 million people be wrong?


*One of my funniest work memories is when a colleague at the Great Clips corporate office received a special “gift” from his co-workers who wrapped his entire cubicle and every single item in it in wrapping paper! From his pens and coffee mugs to his chair and even the outer walls of his cubicle, everything was covered in colorful holiday paper. (Granted, this kind of prank requires trust between coworkers—you need to know what they find funny and then proceed mindfully!) At first, he seemed too stunned to find the situation funny, but as the unwrapping began, laughter filled the office and he joined in, sharing many laughs.


What gives you the giggles? When’s the last time you laughed at work? Give me a call today so we can chuckle over your stories.


Beth Nilssen

Director of Franchise Development | Great Clips, Inc.
800-947-1143 | [email protected]

Beth Nilssen By Beth Nilssen on June 8, 2023
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