When employees truly engage at their workplace, it can be an easy win-win for both companies and their members. For companies, the benefits include a more committed workforce, increased productivity during work hours, and a decrease in overall health care costs if healthy activities are included. For employees, when they engage with the programs their company puts into place, they tend to be healthier and happier, not to mention more empowered and committed. While having programs in place is the first step, companies need to address how to encourage members to take advantage of the resources available to them. Check out some easy to implement tips below to encourage employee engagement.
Provide Multiple Forms of Communication and Engagement Tools
Effective communication is important to any employee engagement strategy. Informing employees of relevant topics can give companies a competitive edge by increasing engagement levels and in turn, impact the bottom line. After all, engaged employees usually lead to less turnover. To enhance internal communication, organizations should focus on creating a regular flow of information and ensuring each message is impactful and consistent with company goals.
Use different forms of communication that will engage today’s diverse workforce. Millennials usually prefer to chat or receive push notifications, while the older generation workers like to read the company blog or newsletter. Companies can also use videos and podcasts to inform employees of events, news, and other relevant topics. Regardless of the medium, when employees have the option to choose how they want to receive information it creates a sense of respect for the employee and enhances the level of engagement.
Provide 24/7 Live Free Health Care support
Healthcare today is expense for both the organizations as well as the workers. An oft-cited complaint is that with so many resources available, it is difficult for workers to evaluate how to best address the healthcare symptoms presented. Several studies show that as much as 70% of all people that end up in the ER don’t actually need to go in. For organizations, encouraging the use of lower cost solutions such as an affiliated health center or a telemedicine doctor can translate into significant savings. Yet, giving workers monetary rewards for using lower cost solutions doesn’t necessarily work.
Employees and members want someone educated, always available and trusted to speak to. They also will often hesitate to call a doctor if they think they don’t need a prescription or that the doctor will just confirm they need to go to the ER. Further, employees will also wait to call a doctor and delay care if they think that their symptoms are not serious yet, causing delay in care.
Free nurses tend to a be a great solution to increase usage of lower cost options. People generally see nurses as the friendly first-contact that they can call when a symptom arises, even if all they need is some home care advice. In return, nurses can give home advice when appropriate, so symptoms don’t worsen, but also to encourage the use of a more appropriate care option, including a telemedicine doctor instead of the ER. Nurses can be incorporated into your company mobile application and be available for free. Free, trusted nurses that are not connected to the insurance company is the key to increasing usage.
Make Information Easy to Find and Use
As companies map out their strategies for employee engagement, they must keep in mind that these programs need to be easy to find and access. With all the various company resources available to members, a significant challenge is figuring out what exactly is available, then to decide which resources they want. Look for a company-specific platform that gives easy access to all the key resources in one place, rather than putting them on multiple platforms. They also need to have enough information about each resource so that it is not just a button that no one uses. A company we worked with had less than 0.5% usage rate for their telemedicine program. Most members that we spoke to did not know how to access the program – or that it was even available in the first place.
Continuously Encourage Engagement
An important factor that leads to the successful adoption of an engagement program is to establish a long-term strategy which continuously encourages employee participation. This needs to be done until it becomes part of the company culture and the member habit. Merely providing the resources to kick-start an engagement initiative won’t be enough. Managers need to take an active role and be right there with employees in developing and maintaining new behaviors. Constant communication, such as through push notifications or live events, can lead to a higher adoption rate of the program.
In sum, engagement programs have the potential to create significant value for companies and their staff. Managers need to understand how developing positive programs will require some planning for communication and promoting a culture where team members start to become actively engaged. It takes several weeks of practice for new behaviors to become new habits. Therefore, it is vital that managers develop a long-term strategy that includes an easy-to-use tool, such as Continuwell, in order to make the program a success.