Your Epic Wellness Communication Plan: 5 Tips for Driving Participation
Posted Apr 11 2013 10:35am
More than half of workers say they don’t know enough about their company’s wellness programs to participate in them according to a 2012 Colonial Life survey . Yet wellness programs only work if your employees participate.
If engagement is the holy grail of worksite wellness how can you use communication to achieve high participation rates and keep employees engaged for the long-term? Here are five things to consider as your build your communication plan.
Grassroots To ensure local support, recruit employees representing multiple locations and departments to serve as a network of wellness champions. This team can help with site-specific communication to help drive participation and give them a sense of local ownership.
Segment Don't think of employees as members of a uniform group, but rather as different types of individuals with varying wants and needs. You need to create messages that can resonate with each individual. Try creating a basic demographic profile of your employees. Is your audience diverse in age and experience? What’s the average age? Is it technology savvy? Simply put, whom are you talking with at your company?
Consistent Continually promote and reinforce benefits. Before crafting each message, answer the question, “Why should employees notice or care?” Explicitly tell employees why a program matters and what it can do for them. You want employees to clearly understand that participating in the program is something for their personal good, as well as good for the overall company.
Emotional To create a wellness program that your employees love, you need to appeal to their emotions. Start by stirring something inside your participants. Nothing makes an emotional connection better than a good story. Find some employees who have been successful in making healthy choices and share their stories across your organization.
KISS "Keep it simple, stupid." To improve the odds of being read and understood, messages need to be short and simple. Try creating short documents — ideally one page — that are easy for employees to digest. For email blasts, messages should be limited to a single concept instead of trying to stuff it full of information. Make sure message are action-oriented with specific action items called out.
When it comes to wellness programs, effective communication is not just a good idea, it’s a critical component if you want to engage employees so your health initiatives succeed.