If You Build It, They Will Come…Guest Blog by the Working on Wellness Team

In the following example, for worksite wellness programs, it’s not enough to simply build it. They (the employees) won’t come of they don’t know about it. We define worksite wellness as any workplace health promotion activity or organization-wide policy designed to support healthy behaviors and improve health outcomes while at work. But, a wellness program can’t have any impact if it doesn’t have employees participating in the program.

Having a well thought out communications plan is a critical success factor for an effective worksite wellness program. The communications plan and any materials that are developed within the plan need to address three key elements – who, how and what:

Target audience (Who)

Consider to whom you are communicating. Are all employees the same? Should this audience be segmented to identify specific ways to communicate to subgroups? Consider the various types of workers in your organization, their education level, and the ways that may be most effective to communicate to them.

Message (What)

What is the message that you are delivering? Does it need to be customized to the specific subgroup or target audience? What is the ‘call to action’ that you are requesting? You might ask in the materials, for example, that people register for a program or take a survey. Is the message persuasive and does it appeal to the target audience?

Channels (How)

Channel refers to the different methods or mediums that you will use to communicate. Do all employees have access to email as part of their job? Are all employees in the same physical location? Consider the various channels that are available to you. They may include: email, social media, posters, flyers, newsletter articles, intranet site postings. The more ‘impressions’ employees see in various mediums, the more likely they are to take action on the message.

Keeping these key elements in mind when creating wellness program marketing communications will increase the likelihood that the employees will participate in the program you build. You can learn more at the “Communication Tips and Tools to Strengthen Your Impact” webinar hosted by the Community Health Training Institute on Thursday, May 26. Register here.

To learn more about developing a comprehensive worksite wellness program and how your organization can receive seed funding to support wellness efforts, visit Working on Wellness’ website at www.mawow.org. Applications for Massachusetts employers are open through June 2016.