When a person experiences prolonged stress, it’s often natural for them to cope with unproductive or unhealthy stress relief. This creates an environment of pressure and tension, eased by distraction and reward. In an ideal world where wellness is the priority, a person would refresh themselves and preserve balance with healthy outlets to cope with stress and maintain perspective. But, that’s not always the case. For many people, it’s easier to just find a way to escape from the stress in one way or another. You have the chance to not only make a change, but a positive impact for those people—with workplace wellness communications.
However, you’ve got to be mindful of how you approach these communications. With optional communications, people tend to gravitate only towards what they want to hear. There’s a basic business axiom that says, “Features are what’s important to you. Benefits are what’s important to them.” This saying is a simple reminder about perspective and paradigms. If someone is not acclimated to healthy behaviors or a wellness lifestyle, the communications pitching health and wellness, will bounce right off. At that moment, reminders about wellness are not a benefit because it’s not important to them.
This explains why workplace communications about wellness tend to receive an often blank stare. So, how do you make inroads with your wellness communications into a (large) portion of the population that’s currently tuned out of the health and wellness lifestyle?
This is an advertising question, not an HR question. The focus has to change from conveying an entire idea, to conveying one small part that will engage the target just enough to draw them into the conversation. Tier your communications so that you always have a high-level engagement campaign running in order to broach the subject. Look at any successful advertising campaigns you know from television and radio for hints.
The biggest advertising audience each year is during the Super Bowl, and the ads cost a fortune. Most ads rely on basic human concepts to engage viewers: humor, empathy, and inspiration. These concepts evoke an emotional response. This is the easiest way to engage anyone. You don’t have to tell the whole story to engage an audience; you just need to hook them. So, if you tailor your wellness campaign using concepts to better connect with the viewer or reader before leading into your actual message, you stand a better chance of engaging with a previously inaccessible audience.
Does this sort of approach take a little more effort and a little more communication finesse?
Yes. Yes, it does.
But that little bit of extra effort is what will result in reaching a bigger audience and greater engagement with your wellness offerings.
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