The secret to increasing employee wellbeing program participation

July 16 2018 / by Mari Ryan


Senior leaders want to know that the money being spent on employee wellbeing programs is having impact. A key metric in evaluating and measuring program impact is employee participation. All too often I hear from human resource and wellbeing professionals about the low levels of participation in their programs. This is a concern, especially when having to justify the reach of their initiative to senior leaders.

Here’s the secret that most people are overlooking. Look at your communications programs. A vital factor in successful employee wellbeing programs comes down to how well the program is communicated. Let’s face it. Employees can’t participate if they don’t know about the events and benefits the program offers.

In thinking about your wellbeing communications strategy, there are a few essential elements to consider:

  • Build a Brand. Does your program have a brand – logo, name and tagline? By creating a recognizable brand for your program, it creates an imprinting of the logo so that employees recognize it and will be likely to respond when they see it.
  • Communication Channels. One of the biggest challenges in communicating with any audience is to understand the most effective way to reach them. Is it email, posters, message boards, intranet? The answer may be all of them. Many of our clients no longer allow mass emailing, instead opting for intranets. The challenge then becomes how to pull employees to those communications when push communications are limited.
  • Message Content and Tone. Once you understand the best channels to reach employees, the message content and tone has to capture their attention and move them to action. Ask your employees for input on program messaging. Also, remember to keep it fresh and fun.
  • The Old Fashioned Way. Don’t forget the value of word of mouth communications. A network of ambassadors can serve as the departmental or location contacts that share information on a regular basis.

Wellbeing program communications take time and effort. Developing a strategic communications plan is a worthwhile investment. It can pay back in a big way by increasing program visibility and participation by employees.

Topics: Worksite Wellness, Wellbeing, Culture, Worksite Culture, worksite wellbeing, workplace wellbeing, workplace culture, improving employee productivity, employee benefits, hr, company culture

Mari Ryan

Written by Mari Ryan

Mari Ryan is the CEO/founder of AdvancingWellness and is a recognized expert in the field of workplace well-being strategy.