Promoting Wellness Benefits in an Unconventional Workplace
Sometimes the frantic pace of business can make it tough to promote your company’s wellness benefits to workers. And the challenge of telling them what’s available can seem even tougher if you’re in an industry where few or none of your employees have a desk or frequent access to a computer.
Even if most of your workers have personal or company devices on the job, a variety of legal or business circumstances often rule out traditional methods like email. And OSHA regulations mean healthcare workers are often unable to have phones on them while working to view electronic media.
Although many leaders who work outside of office environments believe their employees are hard to reach with benefits communications, this is ultimately a myth. There are a number of ways to get your workers engaged, whether they haul freight cross-country or work all-night nursing shifts. If you’re trying to drive benefits engagement in the retail, manufacturing or transportation fields, we’ve got some tips on how best to promote your offerings.
Not only do contests add fun and competition to your benefits programs, they also have no environmental limitations.
Nothing unifies a workforce like a company-sponsored contest with a common goal. Many companies incentivize initial enrollment in a benefit, either on the personal or departmental level. This is fine, but don’t stop there! Offer an incentive for taking the first few steps with a benefit or wellness challenge. The key is to give employees a somewhat quick win for using the benefit (within the first month) without setting the bar too high above their head. Consider a second-tier approach with a more difficult goal 90 days into the program.
A Dedicated Champion
Contests around benefits are wonderful, but they work even better when workers are hearing regularly from an individual who’s passionate about the challenge. If tasking one person in HR to be the champion is overwhelming, assign a shift leader or someone at each work location. Let them be the face of the contest, answering questions and offering regular advice to those who are competing to win. Creating a “win team” around the benefit or contest makes it fun for employees while boosting visibility of the program.
Business owners and payroll department workers are all too familiar with the experience of talking with workers in financial distress. The conversation often takes the form of requests for pay advances or loans on a 401(k).
When those discussions come up, it’s a great opportunity to have a pocket-sized card to give them advertising the benefit that meets the need. It should include the program highlights and a website if applicable.
Meet Them Where They Are
From airlines to hospitals and beyond, many work environments make face-to-face benefits discussion rare. Here are a few ways to reach workers in these contexts:
- Text messaging
- Posting updates near time clocks or within digital scheduling systems
- Table tents in break rooms
- A-frames near staff entrances and exits
- Media screens with options for text to enroll
Communication methods within companies will vary as much as the circumstances of industries. The key is to find a format for your company that gets workers involved and benefiting more than ever from the wellness programs you’re promoting.