When Workplace Jokes Go Over the Line
Going Too Far
Jokes are not fun when an employee is the center of the joke. Sometimes it's fun to joke around at work, but not everyone “gets it.” But that excludes people and makes them feel like your workplace is not right for them. Managers must learn how to solve these problems, not contribute to them.
In this microlesson, we show how jokes and a little fun at work can sometimes go a little too far. Some jokes can potentially violate policies of inclusion and respect or count as harassment, without employees even realizing it. If an employee missteps or hurts someone’s feelings, the best thing to do is acknowledge it and apologize. We’re all human. Eventually, someone is going to say or do something unkind.
- Avoid causing hard feelings by putting yourself in the other person’s shoes.
- How to self-correct, apologize, and stop the offensive behavior.
- Actions have consequences – good or bad – and anyone has the power to make a difference.