“I used to work at the bank, but I lost interest.”
If we agree that, at least in theory, this is a joke, you can see it works using the element of surprise. The first half of the sentence sends your mind in one direction. The second half surprises you with something unexpected.
That’s what makes a joke work. But it’s also why jokes are often hard to remember and retell.
By definition, humour doesn’t always fit into your normal flow of logic. So as quickly as the brain takes a joke in, it quickly throws it aside once you’ve finished laughing.
And that raises a question when it comes to learning: why is humour so often forgettable, yet humour in training is proven to increase retention?
Humour drives engagement and retention
Funny or unfunny, humour demands attention and often gets a reaction one way or the other. Just wander the streets telling people your favourite sitcom is Mrs Brown’s Boys, and see the extremes of opinion in action.
On the Recruitment Juice platform, we’ve seen how using humour gets recruiters to pay more attention and forge an emotional connection with the material in front of them. That’s why numerous studies show that enjoyment and fun dramatically increases retention.
Humour brings characters to life
Humour is an intrinsic part of what makes us human. It’s there when we’re getting together with friends, but also there in the most unexpected, awkward moments of life. So, in learning, we use humour to make situations and characters more real and relatable.
At Recruitment Juice, our content comes from industry experts who have worked and enjoyed success on the frontlines of recruitment. As a result, all our humour comes from a place of authenticity and familiarity – many of our learners recognise types of colleague and, in some cases, the worst of themselves. Humour highlights the ridiculousness of doing things the wrong way – and positions the right skills as obvious and easy to adopt. In turn, learners are more likely to apply smart tactics and, after getting a positive outcome, stick to that behaviour long-term.
Humour is something we love to share
Finally, humour is distinctly social. When humour makes your learning and development engaging, meaningful, memorable and relevant, you’re far more likely to share it with your colleagues.
Our content sparks a discussion. It turns learning from something recruiters have to do into something they want to do, especially when a colleague makes a personal recommendation.
And, in this way, humour doesn’t just make learning stick. It can help build a culture of learning and development that ripples through your entire business.
See our award-winning range of content for yourself. Click here to find out more.