Communication Tips to Drive Engagement in Employee Wellness

  • Posted on: 24th September 2018
  • Posted in: News

Making healthy behaviours top of mind can be a challenge. Without consistent reinforcement and follow up, enthusiasm for and participation in health improvement initiatives can easily wane. Studies prove that in blood pressure treatment, weight loss or smoking cessation programs, one-time screening or counselling has short-term impacts (up to three months), but without follow-up, effects disappear within a year.

Successful wellness programs have frequent contact of some form with every employee. Vitality’s engagement studies confirm that a strong communication strategy is a key driver of engagement – leading to an additional 21 percent increase in employee participation.

Marketing experts like to debate the right ways to calculate effective message frequency. Some say repeating a message three times will work, while many believe the “Rule of 7” applies. This rule states that a person needs to hear a message at least seven times before he or she will act. What works for employers? The answer is whatever fits your culture. Just say it, say it again, and then at least once more.

The best way to enhance employee awareness of health and wellness opportunities and to reinforce your company’s emphasis on well-being is through frequent and multiple “touches.”

Five tips to keep the conversation going:

  • Plan quarterly themes. Participating in an annual charity walk or run? Promote the benefits of physical activity around the event and throughout the quarter. Share quick fitness tips such as walking about the block or company building during breaks.
  • People need people. Employees have an emotional attachment to their health. Involving coworkers and family are strong triggers for healthy change. One idea is to regularly gather staff testimonials on their healthy victories and share them with everyone to create enthusiasm. Create and utilise healthy Champions to speak with employees to help with motivation. For those that are willing – post some before and after pictures.
  • Prove participation. Use employee participation statistics in emails, your newsletter, digital signs or in the Newsfeed. These nudges can encourage everyone to join in your company’s wellness goal and remind them of the Vitality rewards that come with it. An example could be: “36 percent of eligible employees have earned points for regular activity this quarter! Have you earned points for taking your health screening?
  • Perk up your environment Pass along updated wellness information, like Vitality’s  “12 Ways to Make a Work Day a ‘Work-it’ Day” article, on posters, monitors or a bright, eye-catching bulletin board.
  • Print. Not everyone chooses to read online. Provide flyers for use in new-staff benefits training, break rooms or for legacy staff questions.  
See how Viisana can help your business here.