A recent Gallup poll shows that over 85% of large employers in the US offer some sort of wellness program. Yet, only 60% of workers are even aware of the existence of such programs within the organization and in the 60% that are aware, only 40% actually make use of their wellness benefits.
The above study makes it clear that simply offering a wellness program does not guarantee the wellness of employees. Unless the program is combined with effective strategies for increasing awareness of the programs within the organization, many such programs will fail to yield expected results. So how can employers increase awareness?
Here’s where the critical role of marketing and communication in raising awareness cannot be overstated. Remember – out of sight, out of mind!
Three strategies to help increase engagement for your wellness program:
Actively advertise your program:
Once you have strategized your wellness program; an event centered on introducing the program to your workforce can be very effective in rising awareness and sparking enthusiasm among your employees. This event may be combined with another major company event where employee attendance is normally high in order to gain maximum visibility. By educating employees on the various benefits of the program, encouraging them to pledge participation and helping them enroll on the spot, the program is sure to gain traction from the get-go. Making the wellness program an active part that is discussed during new employee training will also help raise awareness on a regular basis.
At Alyfe, we call these events ‘Blitz events’. Over the years, we have helped many organizations kickoff their wellness programs with great success by planning and executing attractive blitz events.
Develop an effective communication plan:
Create a comprehensive communication plan that will clearly state how and when employees will hear about the wellness initiative throughout the year. Considerations for an effective communication plan should include:
• Provide program information and its benefits to prospective participants in a timely and engaging manner
• Determine the right channels for communicating with the employees to ensure maximum participation
• Provide adequate reminders and follow-ups for encouraging participation
• Make participation easy and accessible by providing online sign-ups and scheduling
• Create consistent customer support channels for answering and clarifying employee questions
If you are outsourcing your wellness services, then ensure that the company providing you the wellness services has a clear marketing plan and good track record for consistent and effective marketing. At Alyfe Wellbeing Strategies, we provide you the communications for all of your programming, from a blitz event to personal health assessment to onsite health coaching. Contact a wellbeing strategist today to see how we can help increase engagement within your organization.
Include at least one onsite activity to your wellness program:
Onsite activities provide more visibility to your wellness programs since they are accessible to employees during office hours. Many of the activities happen in a friendly group setting, which motivates employees to encourage their friends and teammates to participate with them, thereby increasing visibility, awareness, and engagement.
Holding onsite programs in high-traffic areas within the workplace and creating effective pre-program buzz with engaging communication collateral will ensure successful participation for your onsite activities.
The above recommendations are a few strategies to help your organization increase awareness and participation. To successfully execute these strategies requires a dedicated team of people with a clear focus. At Alyfe Wellbeing Strategies, we have the bandwidth, the expertise and the passion to be your boots on the ground, speak to a wellbeing strategist today.