Imagine heading into a year-end meeting with management and trying to explain how you could have easily and inexpensively saved the organization significantly, but because you didn’t educate and prepare employees for the cold and flu season, productivity – and as a result, profits – plummeted. How do you think your report to the powers-that-be would be received?
Sadly, this scenario could easily play out at any company in this country. According to government data:
- Between 5 and 20% of U.S. residents get the flu each year.
- The easily avoidable illness leads to nearly 111 million lost workdays from employees calling in sick.
- In dollar figures, the flu costs employers a collective $7 billion annually from sick days and lost productivity.
What’s even more startling: These alarming numbers don’t take into account all the nasty colds that wreak havoc on a worksite.
The good news is that through education and planning, you can help protect your company’s employees from the cold and flu season (and, in the process, maybe make yourself the office superhero and management’s employee of the year).
Effective cold and flu season education must rely on easy-to-understand communications. Material needs to be presented:
- In Plain Language that anyone can understand. According to the National Assessment of Adult Literacy, roughly 36% of adults in the United States have limited health literacy, 22% have basic literacy and 14% have below basic health literacy. Only 12% of the population has a proficient health literacy level. Give your audience the information it needs in ways it can easily understand.
- With eye-catching graphics that will get someone’s attention. According to various estimates, consumers today are bombarded with 3,500 to 5,000 marketing messages daily. To make your communications stand out, they have to grab someone’s attention first.
- Online, too, so people can access important credible information 24/7 – because cold and flu bugs don’t just operate during business hours.
If all this seems a bit overwhelming and you feel yourself getting sick at the thought of being responsible for effective cold and flu communications, check out Hope Health’s Flu Preparedness Kit. The kit has everything you need to communicate effectively with employees on the importance of a flu shot, how to prevent getting the flu, what to do if they do get sick, and how to prepare your worksite for a flu emergency.