Employer health and wellness programs only work when employees participate. To realize the well documented benefits of better individual health, productivity, and lower healthcare costs, companies need to get employees enthusiastically on board. We encourage HR leaders to look at this as an opportunity. Have some fun with communications and activities to drive employee adoption and highlight the positive benefits of health and wellness for employees and the company. Here are four ideas to consider for promoting and encouraging participation in your wellness program:
Treat it as a marketing program
You are rolling out a valuable new program to your employees—it’s just like launching a new product or service. Set goals for adoption and participation, and build a plan to reach those goals. Marketing provides a simple framework to create positive awareness of the program, create the content to interest and inform employees, and encourage the call to action—to participate actively and consistently. It makes the effort easier by providing focus and form to your communications efforts. Consider asking your marketing or internal communications teams to provide input and feedback as well. Many companies use a volunteer committee to deploy a wellness program so involve them from the start. The more creative ideas, the better, and collaboration with other teams can help organically build awareness even before you launch.
Use as many communications touchpoints as you can
Reach your employees everywhere they are. Get feedback through quick online surveys or internal focus groups (this also helps build prelaunch awareness). Hold a Wellness Kickoff event (or even a series of remote kickoffs) led by your CEO. Update the main HR internal web page and create a separate wellness program page and calendar. Create internal signs and banners announcing the rollout or promoting program activities. Of course, take advantage of your usual communications channels of emails and newsletters. Communication across many channels is especially important for launching program momentum and keeping employees actively engaged in living their healthiest lives.
Get the local community involved
Host events with local wellness experts, such as nutritionists, leaders of hiking or cycling groups, healthy restaurant owners, or healthcare professionals to share their unique and interesting perspectives on health and wellness. These presentations could be held virtually via an internal webinar, Facebook Live event, or even via a short, pre-recorded video, and then shared with employees via internal communications. Many people love to speak to new audiences to share their knowledge and passion, and your employees will feel like part of a broader community of wellness.
Make it fun
This might be the most important guidance. Wellness should be fun. It makes people feel better, work happier and more productively, and socialize in positive ways with their colleagues. Brand your program—and hold a company contest to come up with the name. Highlight personal or team achievements, perhaps profiling a team that hit a step-counting target or an employee who met a personal health goal (with their permission and participation, of course). Giveaways, rewards, games, and acknowledgement keep people involved and excited about their wellness.
These are just a few ideas for building enthusiastic employee engagement in their wellness. The health and wellness technology you adopt should be a natural, powerful tool to advance these efforts for communication and engagement. How can ALYKA Health help your organization engage its employees? The ALYKA Health solution, delivers critical communications and notifications that empower employees and keep them engaged and on track with their health. It provides their personal health data at their fingertips. And we have previously looked at how games and game technologies help make wellness fun for employees. ALYKA Health’s Communication and Marketing Services provides additional resources and a framework that help HR teams with successful program rollout, goal setting and tracking, and communications: