Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Is Dilbert Okay For My Employees?

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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, these cartoons are not making fun of you, right? But then again, it is easy to second-guess this sentiment when you start to see Dilbert cartoons tacked up on the cubicle walls of your employees. 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 the question becomes, are Dilbert cartoons bad for employee morale?

First off all, one must remember that humor and laughter is good for morale. Certainly, these cartoons are posted on people's walls because they induced a laugh, so this 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, it is unlikely that banning these strips would have any effect except to make employees think that you are out of touch with the way they feel.

Instead of reacting brashly and ordering all Dilbert strips to be taken down from cubicle walls, a better approach is to look at the strips yourself. Many of these strips are funny because they poke fun at the way businesses are run; if your employees think that these strips are applicable enough to be tacked on their cubicle wall, the problem might not be with the strip itself. The problem might be a whole lot closer to home; perhaps the problem is with your company and the way it is run!

While some might think it is trivial to turn Dilbert into a topic of serious discussion, many businesses have, in fact, banned these cartoons from cubicle walls. If you are wanting to improve morale around your office, do not alienate employees by acting in this manner; instead, take a look at the way your business is run, and aim to improve morale by improving your business!

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