At the heart of every wellness program is communication. All announcements, notices, emails, reports, speeches, and publications reflect the wellness program whenever updates and information are delivered. Communicating your wellness program is therefore a blend of marketing and information and involves three aspects:
Depending on the size of your organization, the communications role may be done by one or more team members. First, decide within the wellness team who is responsible for disseminating ALL communications to employees (and families if they are to be included too). Then factor in the type of communications, frequency, and format etc. that you want to use. Additionally, determine what information the stakeholders require and how and when they want to receive it.
Facilitating effective communication is multi-faceted and everyone’s time is valuable, therefore a Communications Management Plan will need to be created and its details shared with the team members and executive management.
Seek out areas to involve employees during the launch of a program and during the developmental stages. Speculation will most likely take place regarding what a wellness program means, what the impact is, who is involved and why. It is important to fend off conjecture and set the wellness program on a good foundation so that the anticipation about the impending launch is positive.
What are you doing to communicate your wellness program with employees? The first level of communication is the announcement of support for the wellness program by the executive sponsor. Communication affects both how employees (and management) perceive the efficacy of the program and its relevancy to the individual.
To keep announcements fresh and interesting, mold the frequency of communication and the best fit for the company culture around different formats.
Communication has multiple facets and ameliorates engagement barriers by providing awareness, teaching managers about the importance of empowering employees to participate, and helping to initiate personal changes.
Regular updates will inform employees about what will be happening, provide opportunities to demonstrate appreciation for their assistance, and confirm the anticipated launch date.
Variety is important too. Seasonal events, for example, will affect the program design due to holidays, vacations, or whether it is summer or winter.
Remember, at the heart of every wellness program is communication and a program consistently needs fresh publicity and reminders.
Margaret Stockley is the CEO of the Aspire2 Wellness Group and the founder of the Professional Organization For Wellness Certification (POWCERT) providing workplace wellness programs and training to help companies increase employee engagement and reduce costs. With over 25 years in healthcare and wellness education, she is the author of “Transforming Workplace Wellness”, and co-author of “Inner Knowledge” and the CD “Multi-Sensory Meditation”.
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