Employees can’t participate in your program if they don’t know it exists, so effective communication is key. In fact, past surveys have indicated that half of all workers who didn’t participate were unaware that their worksite had a health promotion program.7 It’s not enough to send a message at the launch of your campaign; you must communicate regularly with employees to keep them up to date on events and activities and to maintain their interest in the program. Use multiple channels to deliver messages. Emails and bulletin boards are good for reminders and announcements, but in-person events like a health fair or a lunch and learn provide an opportunity to spread information while directly engaging employees in your program.6 Using multiple channels also increases your potential audience, as different people may pay attention to different media and messages. One study found that organizations using multiple channels to deliver strategic, targeted communications achieved 12.8 percent greater participation than organizations using less thorough communications strategies.9
It is also important to keep messages fresh, because employees will lose interest if they receive the same material over and over. You can keep messages relevant and timely by incorporating local or business events, or even matching your strategy to the current season. For example, a physical activity program can focus on getting in shape for spring/summer and fighting off holiday weight gain in the fall, and a healthy eating program can provide healthy recipes for upcoming holidays.