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Why and how to use cartoons in the Workplace

Why use cartoons in the workplace?

– variety
– use of humour
– targets different ways in which people learn
– visual memory cue
– makes message ‘unforgettable’
– audience identifies with the message

Note: The cartoon must be relevant to the subject matter. You need to be aware that your attempt at humour is appropriate to your audience and does not discriminate.

“But Jason, what if I don’t have excellent drawing skills?”

You don’t need them!

Your picture only needs to convey your idea.

Creating a cartoon

Step 1: This process is similar to Project Management philosophies:
– You have an idea
– You create you plan
– How will you present it?
– What framework will you use?
– What will the picture display?
– Will your message be subtle or ‘sledgehammer-like’?

Step 2: You create a draft
Step 3: Rework your draft
Step 4: Complete

Using Cartoons in the Workplace – an example

“New email policies were implemented at a previous employer.  The initial response from the employees was that the policies were very strict, harsh, a restriction of civil liberties. The guidelines for the use of email were much tighter than they had been and those caught breaching the policies were severely reprimanded.

“Management knew the workforce would be unhappy, and in an attempt to ‘make light’ of the situation and show that ‘they too understood and empathized with the workforce’, a cartoon was suggested to create a connection between management and the employees.”

Example – Brainstorming Session

The email policies are now much more strict, what else is strict?

The law

What happens when people break strict laws? The go to jail

Ah HA!

And the following cartoon was created from this idea:

Office Email Procedures

Your task

The OH&S department are releasing a email communication to send out to the rest f the business and want to attach a cartoon to break the seriousness of the message.  It is your job (in small groups) to create a cartoon to be attached with the communication.

Idea starters.
–  What is OH& S?
–  What do they do?
–  What would be the opposite of what they do and how could you do a cartoon that would have an OH & S spin?

(Slipping/falling / dropping things on yourself for comedic purposes is always funny, see the Coyote and Road Runner as examples)

Are there any ‘plays-on-words’ in OH & S that you could use?

(e.g. bear / bare; you could have a grizzly bear carrying a pot of acid and the OH&S worker scolds him for carrying the liquid with his ‘bear hands’)

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