Open Enrollment Goes Open Mic

(NSFW from the Summer issue of Workspan)

Let’s face it: Open enrollment is not something that gets the pulse racing, unless you’re actively fleeing the fast- approaching HR person who would like to have a word about it. And there’s nothing inherently funny about it, just as there’s nothing inherently funny about complex periodontal work. Still, as open enrollment nears, HR tries yet again to conjure “fun” ideas to make communications more interesting and engaging. So while open enrollment is not exactly the stuff of (intentional) sketch comedy, why not try some humor?

open enrollment

First, we’d recommend changing the font to Comic Sans.

Theoretically this is a pretty good idea. Adding humor to an otherwise pretty grim process is certainly different, and to the extent that you’re able to achieve your minimal objective — actually being funny — sure, why not … but realize that it’s tricky. The workforce is made up of people from various backgrounds with different ethnicities, religious sensitivities and, perhaps most importantly, widely divergent views on what is and isn’t funny.

As someone who specializes in communications and dabbles in humor, let me suggest: If you’re entertaining the idea of imbuing your open enrollment messaging with comedic touches, don’t worry about the content — well, worry about that later. First, focus on matching the comedic form to the segment of your workforce that’s most likely to respond to content in that genre.

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