For purposes of workplace wellness programs, many employers lump employees together into a single group, providing everyone with the same wellness and benefit communications. After all, people who work for the same company have a lot in common, right?
Maybe, but most likely not – particularly when it comes to health and wellness information needs. Each employee has his or her own health habits, challenges, goals, frustrations, and motivations. For example, first-time mom Amy in accounting wants and needs different information than, say, Sam, the soon-to-retire sales manager.
Ask, don’t assume
Effective communication is too critical to a wellness program to rely on best guesses, trial-and-error tactics, and a one-size-fits-all approach. Take time to find out what all employees need and want.
- Create a basic demographic profile of your employees. Ask yourself: Is the audience diverse in age and experience? What’s the average age? Employees pay attention to different health and wellness messages at different life stages. Consider basic age profiles when creating (or editing) messages so they will be more relevant to each individual.
- Discover what health and wellness topics employees want addressed. Using a survey, poll or focus group, identify what topics each demographic group deems most important. Find out how each group prefers to receive workplace communication – print, electronic, both?
- Before sending an interest survey to employees, make sure questions are easy to understand, flow logically, and can be answered quickly. Complete all questions about one topic before moving to the next.
- Involve employees early in your message-planning process. Ask them what they want to know and how they would like to receive messages. Make it easy for them to provide feedback, too.