What’s in your thought bubble?

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thought bubble guy 051314If you could employ a cartoon character in your human resources department, what responsibilities would you give him?

I know, I know… you already have a couple of cartoon characters working in HR! But what if you had an honest-to-goodness cartoon mascot – like Tony the Tiger, the Jolly Green Giant or Martin the Geico Gecko?

What messages could that character successfully deliver to your employees?

Ideally, you’d give that critter the tough job of helping employees understand and use their benefits or the importance of participating in wellness activities. After all, cartoon characters are up to the challenge of “selling,” but they shouldn’t be limited to roles in the marketing department.

Let them engage a new audience: your employees.

Wondering what kind of messages these characters can handle? Here are just a few examples from our clients’ benefits cartoons:

Benefits

  • The Employee Assistance Program offers a variety of resources to help you manage and reduce stress.
  • Increase your savings in the 401(k) plan. By setting aside 1% of your merit increase each year, your savings can add up to a significant nest egg for retirement.
  • Participate in the Health Savings Account. It offers many advantages to help you pay for eligible health care expenses.
  • Find network doctors and other health providers for your child who is away at college.

Wellness

  • Know your numbers (cholesterol, blood pressure, weight, BMI, etc.)! Participate in free health screenings and complete the health risk assessment.
  • Walking, jogging or running…get your 10,000 steps in every day. Use the company’s walking route or enjoy a hike in one of the many beautiful parks in the region.
  • Make healthy lunch choices. Pack your lunch. Buy locally-grown produce and fruit from your community’s farmers’ market.
  • Cancer awareness is important. Employees should participate in screenings, do self-examinations and alert their doctor to recent changes or symptoms they’ve noticed.

Other HR Topics

  • Fleet safety: Distracted driving awareness. Drive safely. Reminder of “no electronics” rule.
  • Be a brand ambassador for the company. Live the brand!
  • New dress code. No jeans for employees who work in the office. Highlight other points in the new policy.
  • Core values of the organization: Teamwork, Quality, Responsiveness and Integrity

Those are just a few of fairly routine messages that employees see time and time again, year after year. But they probably haven’t seen them in a cartoon. Take a look at these benefits cartoons based on a couple of those messages.

Living the brand:

The forestry consulting employees at ACRT regularly see HR messages in cartoon panels that feature foresters and a "crew" of woodland critters.

The forestry consulting employees at ACRT regularly see HR messages in cartoon panels that feature foresters and a “crew” of woodland critters.

Walking (10,000 steps):

A therapy pony at Akron Children's Hospital is the star of a wellness cartoon campaign for employees. Petie is recognizable and his participation in wellness activities are comical.

A therapy pony at Akron Children’s Hospital is the star of a wellness cartoon campaign for employees. Petie is recognizable and his “participation” in wellness activities is comical.

Employee Assistance Program:

Employees at the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority look for the antics of Floyd & Friends every month. The characters share benefits, safety and wellness tips.

Employees at the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority look for the antics of Floyd & Friends every month. The characters share benefits, safety and wellness tips.

The characters in these panels aren’t famous commercial icons like the Energizer Bunny or the Keebler Elf. They don’t have to be. The mascots catch the attention of employees and they quickly and effectively deliver their messages. Our clients’ employees recognize the benefits cartoons and are open to hearing messages in a unique and fun way.

Curious about how cartoon characters can be put to work at your organization? Contact us! Call Denise at 216-407-4676 or send an email to denise@otlcreativegroup.com.

Denise Reynolds is the president of Outside the Lines Creative Group LLC.