Six Tips for Promoting Workplace Wellness Programs to Employees

You’ve surveyed your employees about what they would like to see in a workplace wellness program, you’ve planned some activities and maybe even created a healthy workplace policy. You are ready to launch your program.

The next, and most important, step is communicating about the program to your employees.

Developing a communication and promotion strategy is one of the most important and often overlooked elements of launching a successful wellness program.  The key to successfully engaging employees is to continuously promote the program using a number of communication channels.

Good communication and marketing will ensure employees are aware of what’s going on and motivate them to participate.

Most, if not all, businesses will already have communication channels and strategies in place that you can use to promote the workplace wellness plan. In addition to using mass communication strategies such as memos, newsletters and bulletins, interpersonal communication messages that say “someone cares” can help increase participation and engagement.

Below are six tips to consider when developing your workplace wellness communication strategy:

  1. Keep it light. Be positive and keep messages short and simple.
  2. Emphazie ease. Emphasize both the health and social benefits of workplace wellness activities and highlight how easy it is to participate.
  3. Illustrate the points. Use common and attractive imaging and maintain an identity throughout your program.
  4. Tell a story. Provide convincing evidence to support your call to action and, where possible, use real-life situations and stories that will be relevant to the target audience.  Use messages that address rational as well as emotional responses.
  5. Be as inclusive as possible. Identify the specific communication needs of “hard to reach” employees (e.g. shift workers, line workers, remote site employees).
  6. Keep your audience in mind. Avoid promoting events or activities to groups that can’t participate (e.g. noon program for shift workers). Also try to match the communication channel to the group (e.g. email for offsite employees).

Ultimately, by putting some forethought into your communication and promotion strategy, you’ll greatly increase your program’s chances of having a positive impact on the people for which it was designed.