It’s no joke: Managers can use humor to get workers to go above and beyond, according to an Academy of Management Journal article.

Researchers Cecily D. Cooper of the University of Miami, Dejun Tony Kong of the University of Houston, and Craig D. Crossley of the University of Central Florida measured “helping behaviors, those things that fall outside what’s required of your job” in relation to leaders’ use of humor.

“We found that when leaders use humor with their employees, it creates a kind of social currency that makes employees want to give back to the leader. One of the ways they give back is by going the extra mile. The reason that leader humor causes employees to go the extra mile is that it induces positive emotions in them and helps employees connect to their leaders on a deeper level,” Cooper said.

Read more at AOM Insights