3 ways to ramp up health and wellness participation

May is Employee Health and Fitness Month, so we figured now’s the perfect time to share some tips on boosting health and wellness program participation.
Here are three ideas you may not have thought of yet (please share your own ideas in the Reply box below):
1. Tell employees exactly what they need to do
Many wellness programs only offer broad calls to action — like “Get your flu shot.”
To increase participation, employers need to make wellness and preventive activities more personal.
A few suggestions:

  • Send employees reminders on (or near) their birthday: “Happy 40th birthday. It’s time to set up a colonoscopy, so you make it to 50.” Then send a follow up a week later.
  • Provide the address and telephone number of a nearby in-network medical office that can provide the treatment.
  • Tell employees why the appointment is needed and how long it will take.

Studies have proven that the more specific you make the message, the greater the chance the employee will take action.
2. Make it hassle free
The easier it is for employees to make appointments and keep track of what they should be doing, the more they’ll look after their own health.
“Save the date” reminders work great at letting employees know what they should be doing — and when.
Response cards/emails take things a step further and actually get employees to make appointments. An easy way to spark action: Send an email to employees reminding them they need to make an appointment to get a flu shot. Then ask them to reply with the nearest date and time they’re available.
Tip: When mailing response cards or reminders, send them home where spouses might see them and put the pressure on employees to make appointments.
3. Track and refine message results
Which wellness emails are getting opened the most? Which mailers have generated the most response?
Analyze which communications are working — and why. Ask employees what they like best — or want more of.
If nobody’s opening your emails, tinker with the subject line. If your mailers are getting tossed, try adding an incentive offer on the envelope, like “Participation will lower your insurance premiums.”
What grabs your employees’ attention? Let us know in the Reply box below.