From the Blog:

6 ways to get the word out about wellness

When it comes to your wellness program, you’ve probably spent lots of time creating goals, developing incentives, and getting executive buy-in. But the key to success is thoughtful and strategic communications. You don’t want to be the best benefit that nobody knows about.

Your plan should communicate the program’s value, and most importantly, what’s in it for them. Here are six ways to do that:

1. Define the audience and set goals.
Determine who to reach and what you want to achieve. The biggest mistake is lumping employees into one group – what motivates the pregnant mother in accounting is vastly different than what motivates a cardiac surgeon. When it comes to setting goals, think about how the wellness program can meet different employee’s needs. Developing personas is a great way to do this.

2. Fit your culture.
Match your communications to your brand. Create a checklist and make sure each communication aligns with the brand’s visuals, voice, and values. Also, be sure employees are featured in your content, which adds life to your communications. Everyone likes to read stories about – and by – their peers, and it’s an effective addition to communications from HR and executives. Share stories of employees who’ve achieved results through the program (such as weight loss or improved biometrics), and make peer-to-peer recognition visible and appreciated.

3. Select the right channels.
Sending an endless barrage of emails is a sure-fire way to get overlooked. Some employees text, some prefer social media, and others prefer printed pieces like posters or home mailings. If you have the time and resources, research your audiences to understand their preferences. But at a minimum, plan to deliver your message through multiple channels. If your company has a corporate social network like Yammer, make sure that’s part of your plan.

4. Develop an editorial calendar.
Have a plan for at least the next three months, so you and your team can see what’s on the horizon – and identify any gaps. Take into account seasonal wellness themes, like getting in shape for the summer or preparing for the holidays. Once you’ve mapped out the key elements of the plan, assign dates and owners to deliverables. Then meet regularly to discuss the project’s status and whether results to-date require any shifts in strategy.

5. Stick to one message per piece.
People are short on time (and attention span), so design for clarity, brevity, and quality. Make it easy for your employees to get the information with as little reading as possible. If you can convey your message with just graphics, do it. When it comes to copy, use simple statements and clearly state the “call to action”.

6. Measure, measure, measure.
Make sure you capture analytics that measure the effectiveness of different communication channels, so you can see which communications drove the highest engagement. This way you do more of what works and keep learning about your organization.