From the Blog

7 wellness communication tips for your offline employees

Many employees are online ALL THE TIME. They practically live in their inboxes, on the web and in social media. So when it comes to communicating about wellness, there are many ways to reach them.

But what about “offline” employees, like those who work in manufacturing, distribution and even healthcare? These folks still need to know what they can do to be healthy – particularly given the unique demands of their jobs, which can take a physical and mental toll. So how do you get – and keep – them engaged in wellness?

Our most important words of advice: 1) Meet them where they are and 2) Go old-school. Here’s how to make it happen:

7 Wellness Communication Tips for Your Offline Employees

  1. Remember: They’re on the road and on the floor. Your offline employees include line workers, warehouse workers, truck drivers and more. This also includes healthcare workers that aren’t using a computer all day long. Take this into consideration when planning wellness events and activities. What can drivers do from the road (some great ideas here)? How can you make events accessible to people who work second and third shift?
  2. Keep it to the “What” and the “Why.” Employees who work in the plants and on the road are on shift and under the gun to deliver. When crafting your message for this audience, keep it relevant, quick and simple. What do they need to know? Why do they need to know this? What do they need to do? That’s it.
  3. Shorten communications and deliver over time. Many teams meet regularly for a quick lowdown on what’s happening and what people need to know. These “huddles” are a great opportunity to communicate about wellness too – like taking a health risk assessment or registering for a company walking challenge. Craft short communications (as in two or three sentences) that managers can share, or have someone from your team attend meetings to deliver the messages and answer questions.
  4. Make it mobile. Companies like UPS and Walmart have jumped on the app bandwagon to provide employees with corporate intranet access – on the go, on their own time – from their smartphone or tablet. If you go this route, make it dynamic and useful, with user-generated content and access to benefits information, your wellness program, work schedules and pay stubs. Also, consider a social media feature that allows for two-way communication. (Check out how Walmart did an incredible job of this with mywalmart.com, now available to employees as an app.
  5. Print is NOT dead. Seriously – with offline employees, print is your friend: posters, table tents, flyers, company newsletters, home mailings, you name it. Post signage in plants, distribution centers, break rooms, cafeterias, near time clocks, even inside delivery trucks (if you can swing it). On the non-print/new-school side, if your company has flatscreen televisions in plants and warehouses, take advantage of this digital signage opp.
  6. Town halls and conference calls. As with print, this might seem archaic in the digital age, but unlike their corporate HQ counterparts, offline employees aren’t sitting in meetings all day. So get them together for a quarterly town hall meeting where you can have a real conversation with people. To make it fun and encourage attendance, provide lunch or celebrate everyone who had a birthday (or a wellness milestone!) in the past three months. You also might want to schedule quarterly conference calls so employees on the road can dial in for update.
  7. Talk to the people. You know the old adage about why you should never make assumptions? Well, it applies here as well. When in doubt, ask your offline employees how they’d like you to communicate with them. Send out a survey, hold focus groups, talk to their leaders about what works and what doesn’t. Appoint “wellness champions” who will help you keep content relevant and current.

Don’t forget to measure! Finally, don’t forget to measure the effectiveness of your communications to make sure they’re hitting the mark. While often forgotten, this is the best way to make sure you’re truly reaching the out-of-reach.