Getting the right message to the right people at the right time is the ongoing challenge faced when communicating with various audiences about their health. The ultimate goal of your communication strategy is to improve employee engagement by employing a variety of tactics using different vehicles and channels.
Overall, make sure your communications:
- Present a convincing argument: What problem are you solving for the individual?
- Offer a value proposition: What does the employee get in return (how does this save me money)?
- Make sure the materials are relevant to your audience and culturally appropriate
- Include a call-to-action: What do you want the individual to do?
- Use plain language and graphics
- Try to use materials that are between a 4th and 6th grade reading level
- Keep copy clear, consistent, catchy and easy to digest
Consider targeted key messaging:
- All employees: General diabetes prevention and awareness – diabetes 101, diabetes is preventable, importance of healthy lifestyle choices
- Employees at risk: Risk factors, symptoms, impact of lifestyle choices on risk (diet, exercise, weight), risk reduction strategies
- Individuals diagnosed with diabetes: Adherence/compliance with medications and monitoring, prevention of complications, questions to ask the doctor, benefits of compliance, importance of lifestyle choices – diet, exercise, stress management, flu shot
Employ these tactics:
- Use communication channels already in place in your organization (email, intranet, company and department newsletters, annual enrollment). View the customizable articles and posters.
- Incorporate information into benefits and EAP materials
- Use new employee orientation program for basic messaging about prevention
- Use existing events (e.g. annual screening/health fair, open enrollment) to extend the message
- Leverage C-suite executives to increase engagement and participation (letter from the CEO or CHRO or benefits professional)
- Create a wellness champion network – those who already ‘walk the talk’ when it comes to healthy lifestyle practices; stories about personal successes are frequently shared
- Include spouses and partners in your communications – they need to hear the message as well and are important as behavior change drivers
Where to communicate with employees:
- Staff meetings
- Employee breakrooms and cafeterias
- New employee orientations
- Email (including custom emails based on segmentation information)
- Electronic signage or in-house TV system messaging
- Websites (including intranet or your organization’s website)
- Mobile devices (e.g. text message reminders, apps)
- Social media (employee Facebook or Twitter accounts)
- Webinars (targeted to specific risk areas)
- Video (e.g. You Tube) featuring real people in the office or work environment
- E-card reminders
- Shared interactive decision support tools
- Posters, brochures (often available at no charge from health plans or PBM)
Click here for links to tools and templates to help you communicate about diabetes to your various audiences.