Top 10 Communication Best Practices for Boosting Your Wellness Program Participation

Insight By
Michael LoVasco
Employee Benefits

Improving employee well-being is a common goal for most employers these days. However, despite the time, effort and money invested in building wellness programs, many employers still see lack luster participation rates; promoting your wellness program and improving employee well-being can be a difficult task. Between managing their workloads and enjoying their personal lives, employees have a lot on their plate. As such, it can be hard to encourage them to take part in wellness activities.  

Here are 10 Communication Best Practices to follow to help engage your workforce and drive behavior change:

  1. Make the healthy choice the easy choice. Behavioral economics tells us that when it comes to making behavior change, everyone can use a bit of a nudge.  The more our work environments are set up to make it easier to choose the healthier option and harder to choose the unhealthy options the more likely we will have success.
  2. Connect with their minds but win over their hearts. Conventional wellness communication appeals to the head; it embodies science—statistics, studies, but lacks sentiment. Tap into their emotional response; use storytelling and testimonials.
  3. Change the narrative.  Stop talking about improving health.  It’s all about feeling better, looking good, gaining energy, stressing less and living with vitality!
  4. Make it actionable.  Spend only 1/3 of the time explaining the “what and why” and 2/3 on “how”.  People generally know what they need to do, they just need help making it happen.  Provide tips, checklists and simple strategies for applying what they learn to their daily lives.
  5. Keep it simple.  Break behavior change into small, specific and manageable habits that lead to large lifestyle changes down the road. Show them how to make a healthy lifestyle fit into their everyday routine.
  6. Reach them at the point of decision. Whether it’s a sign posted at elevators about the value of climbing stairs, a mirror cling in the restroom about the importance of washing hands, or stickers identifying healthy items in the vending machines or cafeterias, reaching people at the point of decision can have significant impact.
  7. Make it a family affair.   Support can start at work, but needs to be nurtured at home, too. Consider sending various communications to the home so it’s easier for the spouse and family members to get involved.
  8. Make it scannable. You have 2.7 seconds to catch someone’s attention.   And then you must keep their interest so they can act upon your communication.  The days of lengthy paragraphs of text are gone; brevity and clarity are paramount.Think billboards and infographics – less words, more visual.
  9. Spread the word. One of the best ways to win employees’ attention and get them involved in your wellness program is by generating excitement. But you can’t do it alone through email and posters. Establish a network of wellness ambassadors who can be on the frontline, generating enthusiasm, building momentum, and spreading the word.
  10. Consider the kind of wellness experience you are conveying.  Are you focused on risk factors and biometrics? Instead inspire, inform, share and celebrate the potential of the human spirit. Create an upbeat air of expectation, laced with humor and fun.

If you follow these simple practices and place as much a focus on communicating your wellness programs as you do on creating them, you should see better engagement, increased participation and stronger results.

Need help getting started? Whether you need help establishing a comprehensive wellness communications strategy, branding your wellness program, learning about new wellness communication tools and techniques or developing your wellness communications, we are here to help!

Insight By
Michael LoVasco
Executive Vice President
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Employee Benefits
Published on

March 10, 2020

updated on

March 10, 2020


This article is for educational purposes only. The tax and legal references attached herein are designed to provide accurate and authoritative information with regard to the subject matter covered and are provided with the understanding that LoVasco Consulting Group is not engaged in rendering tax or legal services. If tax or legal advice is required, you should consult your accountant or attorney. LoVasco Consulting Group does not replace those advisors.

Securities and Investment Advisory Services offered through M Holdings Securities, Inc., a registered broker dealer and Investment Advisor, member FINRA / SIPC. LoVasco Consulting Group is independently owned and operated.

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