How Open Enrollment Is (And Isn’t) Like Hitting the Gym

Jellyvision Fun Stuff

Pursuing goals. Working hard. Realizing your seat is covered in sweat. Yep, to the HR pro, hitting the gym and surviving open enrollment are a lot alike. But we can’t have you accidentally showing up to a benefits orientation in leg warmers, so just to keep things clear, we’ve compiled the similarities and differences between open enrollment and working out.

SAME
There’s a lot of technical lingo that doesn’t make sense to outsiders.

DIFFERENT
You may understand what a PPO is, but you’ll never understand the rowing machine, no matter how many times your personal trainer Alfredo explains it to you.

SAME
You’re always chugging something from your go-cup.

DIFFERENT
At the gym, it’s a protein shake. During OE, it’s a venti iced coffee from Starbucks with the maximum number of espresso shots allowed by law.

SAME
You’ve got to be flexible and be willing to adopt complex positions.

DIFFERENT
Getting into Downward-Facing Dog is honestly a lot easier than explaining necessary-but-not-super-awesome benefits changes to your employees.

SAME
There’s lots of grunting.

DIFFERENT
At the gym, you grunt because you’re straining your muscles, and not because you’re repeatedly pounding your head against the wall to quiet the deadline-induced panic-screams in your brain.

SAME
You can always get help when you need it.

DIFFERENT
That hairy guy in the belly shirt cannot help you migrate employees onto an HDHP, no matter how many times he shouts “Yo! Need a spot?” from across the room.

SAME
Repetition plays a big role.

DIFFERENT
At the gym, it’s three sets of twenty bicep curls. During OE, it’s three sets of twenty emails, all asking the same question—which you answered in the benefits guide. And now you’re grunting again.

But most importantly…

SAME
No matter how tough it is to get through, you always feel good when you’re done, because you know the hard work was worth it.


You might also enjoy:

eBook: The Ultimate Open Enrollment Communication Playbook

Blog Post: HR Horoscopes

Blog Post: 6 Memes About Open Enrollment That’ll Make You Smile