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Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Do Dilbert Cartoons Have Any Effect On Morale?

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Not only are you familiar with Dilbert as a member of the business world, but as a boss in the business world, you probably even think that Dilbert is sometimes funny. After all, it is not as if any of these cartoons are poking fun at you, right? But then again, this firm self-assuredness can quickly evaporate when you start seeing Dilbert strips tacked up on cubicle walls. Of course, at first, it feels like you are just being overly paranoid to think that a cartoon strip could have any effect on the morale of your employees, but it is also difficult to shed from your mind those articles that talked about how Dilbert actually can have a negative effect on employees. And so you are forced to ask the question for yourself: Are Dilbert cartoons bad for the morale of your employees?

Of course, we know that humor is good for morale, and this is an important consideration to keep in mind. Undoubtedly, the fact that these cartoon strips make your employees laugh is a sign in the right direction.

The issue, of course, is that many of these cartoons induce laughs by poking fun at corporate culture. And when you see a cartoon on someone's wall where the boss is made fun of, it is difficult to keep your mind from wandering to the question: Why did this employee post this particular cartoon on their wall? But the solution to the problem might be more complicated than just banning these comic strips. After all, this would likely do nothing more than further the sometimes rampant view among employees in corporate America that the hierarchy is out of touch.

Don't just order that all comic strips be taken down from office walls; instead, you ought to take the time to look at these comic strips yourself. The reason many of these strips are thought to be funny is because they make fun of the things that are wrong with corporate culture; if your employees think these strips are so funny, there is a chance that the problem does not lie with the comic strip itself. The problem might be with the way your company itself is run!

Many businesses actually have banned Dilbert from cubicle walls, which turns this into a serious discussion even if it seems trivial on the surface. Rather than following this path and alienating employees, take the introspective approach: make sure that you are not making the mistakes portrayed in the strips, and improve morale by improving the way you run your business!

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