Achieving Success with Workplace Health Promotion Program: Are Your Employees Engaged?

Successful Workplace Health Promotion Programs

Currently, about half of US workplaces have established a Workplace Health Promotion Program (WHPP). The initiatives range from healthy eating tips to on-site yoga to health screenings, but all workplace health promotion programs are intended to help workers improve their overall health and well-being. The effectiveness of these wellness programs depends, of course, on employee participation, but getting employees engaged can be a challenge. Turns out, the “promotion” part of a WHPP doesn’t come easy.

A recent NIOSH study showed that out of 47% of workers who have access to WHPPs, only 58% participate. According to Dr. Rebecca Tsai, the lead author of the study: “Workers have different needs and circumstances, depending on factors such as occupation, working night shifts or being paid by the hour.”[1] The researchers conclude that employee participation will increase if the program is tailored to the specific characteristics of the organization and its employees.

So how can an organization “tailor” their workplace health program to engage employees and increase participation? Effective workplace communication can make all the difference. Organizations that succeed in implementing a workplace health promotion program take “promotion” seriously. They keep the employees informed about the benefits of WHPP by frequently communicating about it. However, delivering the message across different shifts, multiple sites, and engaging a multi-lingual, multi-generational workforce can pose a hurdle.

The changing and growing workforce requires multiple modes of employee communication to motivate workers to participate in the program. Newsletters, email, intranet, and employee-facing digital signage are a great way to reach all employees regardless of their schedule, occupation, or age.

But are all of those forms of communication equally effective?

An email or newsletter is only useful when opened and read, and many employees, especially in the manufacturing, transportation and warehouse sectors, don’t have a company email address. A bulletin board can often become an unruly mess with messages that get stale and lost in the shuffle.

Workplace digital signage, meanwhile, will reach employees where they are, regardless of the shift, job site, or age. Easy-to-understand short-form videos make it easy to engage, inform, and educate your workforce about workplace health promotion programs, or any other policy, initiative, or event.

Digital signage offers both consistency in messaging and a variety of content, making marketing to the employees easy. Employers can tailor their workplace messages to a specific employee group or a demographic, share inspirational employee success stories, and easily schedule the frequency and timing of messages.

Studies have shown that as employee participation in a health and wellness program grows, so does productivity and profitability. Companies with flourishing workplace health and wellness programs report improved injury rates, increased retention and lower insurance premiums. Invest in the success of your WHPP by making sure you’re reaching and engaging all employees.

Deliver the vital workplace and home safety messages that keep your employees informed and motivated with Marlin’s Electronic Communication Station (ECS). Address critical issues like teamwork, quality, diversity, and job safety along with news, sports, and weather to keep them engaged and coming back. Learn more here.

[1] NIOSH Study Shows Limited Use of Health Promotion Programs …. https://ohsonline.com/articles/2019/06/26/niosh-study-shows-limited-use-of-health-promotion-programs.aspx

Anna Nieman
September 16, 2019

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