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We must remember that what we don’t consider sensitive could be a painful trigger for others. Being aware of our audience and conscious of the impact of current events upon them is wise. When in doubt, act on the side of kindness and be quiet.

Let’s talk about what’s not funny at work.

  • Skip jokes that disrespectfully separate you from those you work with.

  • Avoid jokes about sex, gender, religion, stereotypes, politics, and other inappropriate workplace topics.

  • Refrain from jokes about topics and events that are still in the headlines or trending on social media. Your audience might be personally affected by that topic or feel it’s too soon to laugh.

What to do when humor crosses the line

Humor can be subjective, but its impact can be hurtful. With the help of the following questions, you may decide where and when to put your foot down with the jokes shared by team members.

Identify whether it’s harmful.

  1. Does it align with Axelerant’s culture?

    1. When one of your team members makes jokes that run counter to Being Axelerant, it’s time to discuss those values and expectations of team members.

    2. Because inappropriate humor that contradicts Axelerant culture and values can raise Safe Space concerns, it’s crucial to inform the People Operations team for guidance.

  2. Does it impact the larger diverse groups at Axelerant?

    1. When a joke violates Safe Space or discriminates against others–it’s not worth sharing.

    2. Beyond the risk that out-of-bounds employee humor can create over the long term, it can also directly impact the performance of teammates and other employees. Addressing this may require a conversation between you, the team member whose humor is causing the problem, and the People Operations team about how to proceed.

Possible solutions

  1. When a team member finds a concerning post, contact the poster to explain why the post may hurt another. The post author should edit or remove the post to limit the negative impact on others.

  2. When the above step does not lead to a conclusion, raise a Safe Space Concern to investigate and assist the situation.