I have some friends who are just back from Carowinds. They rode the new Fury 325 roller coaster. It seems insane and scary.

(It’s also been stuck a few times. I would die.)

The Fury 325 video from Bloomberg has me thinking of how proper design is at the core of everything—from roller coasters to employee communications.

The concept of “design” is something you hear about everywhere. Design, broadly speaking, is an act of aesthetic and emotional manipulation. When it comes to the roller coaster mentioned above, intentional choices were made to maximise an emotional response.

What if we thought that intentionally before we spoke to our employees?

The roller coaster was designed to be the first thing people see when they approach the park. What are the things your applicants and candidates see? What’s the first day of work like for a new employee?

The theme park emphasizes “wow” moments, too. How do you create those moments in your work environment? How do you capture them and record them? How do you use social recognition to encourage wow moments between employees?

Whenever you ride a roller coaster, it’s all about anticipation. Do your employees feel anticipation or dread? Can you turn trepidation into something more constructive?

I like the minute or two before the first drop on a roller coaster. The park director calls it a moment of regret, and the riders are probably asking themselves, “Is this safe? Should I be doing this?” How do you create a sense of healthy risk in your company?

My good friend Brad Galin writes about the comparisons between HR and roller coasters, and you can check out his blog for more metaphors and scenarios. Whether it’s roller coasters or wellness programs, HR can improve the overall employee lifecycle by thinking like a designer. Consider color, shape, texture, space, form, unity, balance, hierarchy, scale, similarities and contrasts before words are spoken and policies are dictated.

The world of HR is weird, and thinking creatively—and offering more innovative solutions—is all anyone can talk about. Want some help? Considering “basic design principles” is a good first step.

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