In a survey by Harvard Business Review of 465 full-time employees at companies with health and wellness programs, 69% of people who don’t participate in said programs would — if only they knew about them.
Many companies have good intentions when creating workplace wellness programs, but they fail or neglect to communicate them to their employees. How can you avoid this happening to your organization’s program? If you put a lot of thought and effort into it, you want team members to participate!
You have more open communication channels than you know. Some of the most useful include:
One of the first things you should do before building your wellness program — and do regularly while it’s running — is to survey your employees about what they want. What are their goals? How can you help them accomplish them? What kinds of wellness are they interested in (mental health, physical fitness, smoking cessation, etc.)? Team members will participate in a program if it caters to their needs instead of designing a vague one and hoping people join, even if they won’t get anything out of it. Regular feedback is also essential for polishing your program into the best it can be.
As far as communication goes, if you survey your employees beforehand, they’ll remember the questionnaire and have the program at the top of their minds when you announce it.
Company meetings are an obvious and practical choice for communicating information about your wellness program. Whether you host an entire meeting dedicated to its announcement or bring it up in conversations with different topics, you have plenty of opportunities to let your employees know what’s going on. Your tone is critical: if you sound excited, team members will be more likely to look forward to it.
Meetings are also advantageous for weaving wellness into every aspect of your work culture. Instead of holding meetings via Zoom or in a conference room, take them outside for a neighborhood stroll while discussing your agenda. Spot is an app designed to facilitate walking meetings for remote organizations, so even distributed companies don’t have an excuse not to prioritize their employees’ wellness.
Do your employees follow your company on social media? Even if they don’t check the company’s pages regularly, posts should still appear on their feeds, so use platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram to publish information about your wellness program. Social media is a convenient way to get people’s attention, so remember to use eye-catching graphics and copy that conveys its benefits.
Online message boards and virtual workspaces like Slack are perfect places to post about corporate wellness. They’re centralized, digital locations that your employees come back to frequently, so it’s unlikely for messages to go unnoticed. You can even “pin” wellness-related posts so platform users can identify them more easily. Online workspaces are also great for recognizing individuals who meet their goals.
Of course, there’s always trusty email. Send your team members information regarding what kinds of wellness programs you offer, the requirements and incentives, how often participants meet (if you do), how success is measured, and more. Email is also convenient for relaying updates and introducing new employees to your wellness programs during the onboarding process.
Your chosen communication channels are vital but equally as important is how you relay messages pertaining to corporate wellness. Keep these tips in mind when composing your memos:
Employees need to know why your wellness program exists. If your motivations aren’t pure, such as wanting them to exercise just to make them more productive, your employees won’t want to participate. You need to talk about health programs’ real benefits: improved fitness and mental health, increased energy, more focus, better habits during and outside of work, and more. The more genuine your motivations are, the more earnest your communications will be — and the better you’ll connect with team members.
When inspiring your employees to engage in workplace wellness, it’s essential to appeal to both their hearts and minds, not just one or the other. Many organizations tend to focus on the logical side of workplace wellness and describe the program’s medical benefits: increased energy, better focus, stronger muscles, decreased risk of heart disease, etc. These benefits are genuine, and you should undoubtedly promote them, but the potential results aren’t always enough to motivate team members into participation.
Appeal to emotion as well. How will you help employees achieve their goals? How much fun does your program promise? This is your chance to get creative — you could bring in charismatic fitness instructors to lead guided workouts, local chefs to discuss healthy diets, meditation experts to instruct calming breathing exercises, and other community members that make your employees feel like a part of something bigger.
An often overlooked tip is communicating with your employees in the languages they’re comfortable with. Not everyone at your company may speak English very well (or at all), or English doesn’t quite invoke the excitement you’re trying to convey. Have a professional translate your workplace wellness communications into all the languages employees at your company speak. People will feel more included, and they’re far less likely to miss any memos.
Corporate wellness messaging can be challenging to get right, but an inclusive and strategic approach can help you win participants over. Check out Spot’s blog for more information about how you can make health a more integral part of your workplace culture and tools that facilitate transparent communication.
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