- Employees are not taking advantage of wellness programs, even when they’re readily available to them.
- The problem lies in communication. Without it, workers simply aren’t taking up the benefits on offer – which does nothing to support their wellbeing.
- Business leaders need to improve their communication and offer personalized guidance to maximize the impact and effectiveness of wellness offerings.
Companies are increasingly prioritizing worker wellbeing; surveys have found that investment in workplace wellness has grown significantly over the past few years—especially over the past 18+ months following the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.
While this is great news, surveys have found that employees are not taking advantage of wellness programs, even when they’re readily available to them.
Worker wellbeing has become a top priority for everyone; however, companies need to work on identifying employee needs and offer programs that are aligned to workers’ wellness priorities.
Strides have been made on this area over the past 12 months, and a recent survey argues that access to programs isn’t the main issue.
It’s All About Communication
Better communication and personalized guidance can help organizations maximize the impact and effectiveness of wellness offerings. Better communication can also help employees better manage their health concerns.
Effective communication will help ensure workers are aware of the different programs available to them and how they can access them, which will boost participation and engagement.
Having open communication channels can also help workers feel more comfortable with sharing programs they’d like to see or issues they believe need to be addressed, which can help companies improve and tailor their wellness offerings.
5 Effective Communication Methods to Maximize Your Wellness Offerings
1. Make it personal
Personalization is key when it comes to improving all sorts of interactions. If you’re hoping to increase participation in your company’s wellness programs, start by personalizing communication efforts with your staff. Ask how they prefer to receive content and relevant information—is it via email, text, or a social media post?
Once you know how they prefer information to be delivered, you need to follow up by sharing information that is relevant to them. For example, if you offer a childcare service as part of your wellness program, make sure that information is sent to those who have a need for that perk—parents.
Non-parents will have little to no interest in receiving content about childcare services; if you regularly spam them with information that is not relevant to them, they will stop checking the information you send.
2. Posters and flyers
While right now posters and flyers may not be as effective given that people are not yet back in the office, people will go back to the office sooner rather than later. Even if you plan to implement hybrid and flexible work arrangements in your company, chances are employees will go to the office at least a few times a week.
Posters and flyers—when designed and crafted strategically—can be highly effective to bring important information to the forefront of employees’ minds.
Pro tips to creating and distributing print materials include:
- Make them easy to read—avoid small fonts and filling the poster with content.
- Design is crucial—they must be visually attractive.
- Don’t just place them anywhere, like the reception desk. Place them in highly trafficked areas where workers will take a moment to read (e.g., bathrooms, kitchen, dining areas, breakout rooms, elevators).
- Include where people can find additional information.
Email remains the top communication channel in business, so take advantage of it. Be careful not to overdo it and spam employees with regular email communication; this will only lead to employees deleting or archiving emails without reading them.
A weekly email reminding people of wellness offerings or providing information on how to access a program can go a long way in increasing participation.
Email can be a great tool for employees who are already participating in specific programs and need to schedule sessions with a professional; a nudge or reminder for them to schedule and a confirmation email that automatically adds their session to their calendar can go a long way in ensuring their participation remains on track.
4. Surveys and polls
Effective communication isn’t a one-way street. Just as you need to regularly communicate with employees, it’s equally important for them to be able to regularly communicate with you.
Surveys and polls are great tools for employees to give their feedback and share any ideas they may have regarding current or potential workplace wellness programs. Surveys and polls tend to be highly engaging, and they are a great way for managers and leaders to better get to know the preferences and needs of employees.
5. Actions speak louder than words
While written communication efforts are amazing and highly effective, when it comes to wellness programs, employers can model behavior by walking the walk.
If you want to encourage workers to take advantage of their unlimited PTO or for them to take a mental health day, it’s important that leaders in the organization model the behavior by taking time off themselves.
If, for example, your employees have voiced interest in improving eating and physical activity habits, rather than sending an email with a reminder, you can offer healthy snacks in the workplace and encourage walking meetings.
Companies are increasing their investment and commitment to workplace wellness programs, which is great news for workers globally. However, having a policy or a program is not enough to see results. Companies need to make sure that employees are actually participating in these programs.
Communication plays a key part in maximizing workplace wellness efforts in two main ways: by ensuring that workers have access to all the necessary information on programs and how to access them; and by providing workers with opportunities to share feedback with their employer in order for companies to better align their offerings based on.