Do you have a wellness communications plan? No matter how well-funded or how well-thought out, all workplace wellness programs are vulnerable to the same basic challenge: getting managers involved and enthusiastic about promoting your wellness program to employees.

Luckily, it’s a simple problem to solve. Much of the time, managers haven’t even considered how much their actions affect participation in their wellness program. They don’t realize that employees already look to them for guidance. That’s why top-down participation is so important.

Here are 5 key tactics you can take to keep managers up-to-date on your corporate wellness offerings, and encourage their participation and leadership. Each of these tactics can enable an open communication environment.

1. Consistent Check-Ins

Developing a system of regular manager/employee check-ins builds trust, which helps gain more successful results.

The vast majority, 89% of HR leaders, agree that regular check-ins and ongoing peer feedback are key components of successful outcomes.

Encouraging this means creating an environment in which all employees feel free to share feedback, ideas, and even constructive criticism on any issue.

2. Build an Internal Wellness Communications Hub

When managers need answers about their wellness program, give them one place to go. Creating a shared location on any company network drive to house all wellness communications and information is a good first step.

You can also make an orphan page on your company website, or integrate it into your company workflow app. If you use Slack, create an open wellness communications channel for employees to refer to as needed.

Devise a system your employees can access to find answers about wellness. Consistency is key in this area so use a system your employees already use. All you have to do is update relevant materials with the latest information.

3. Open Door Policy

A closed door says “go away”. An open door is much more inviting. Implementing an open-door policy lets both managers and employees know that their opinions and feedback matter.

Adopting an open-door policy also cultivates trust and ensures managers feel like you’re actively looking for feedback, rather than being bothered with it.

If you let them know you value and appreciate their feedback, managers will be more likely to give it to you, or pass along what’s been told to them by their immediate employees.

It also allows HR managers to easily communicate wellness offerings whenever someone steps in.

4. Create Your Own Company Lingo

A common language for your company culture assures that all members understand benefits and expectations. For example, doctors have patients, lawyers have clients, and plumbers have customers.

These and other not-as-common terms work to create a sense of community within their individual organizational structures. They can then be used in mantras to express the principles your wellness program should follow to achieve short-term and long-term goals.

This keeps teams focused, especially after your wellness program is established. It also helps with decision-making and identifying new and more engaging ways to get employees to participate.

5. Encourage Conversations

Keeping in the spirit of team-building, a water cooler chat, coffee, or snack break allows employees to interact in a more informal way than they normally would.

Research shows that conversations in situations like these promote healthy communication among cohorts and encourages the exchange of ideas.

For companies seeking new ways to get employees excited and engaged in their wellness plan, open communication, honest feedback, and clear goals are important. Follow these five tips and you’ll be on your way to an office where wellness is valued and pursued.

The Bottom Line

Keeping managers up-to-date on your wellness offerings encourages participation with all employees. Be sure to:

  • Open yourself up to multiple forms for consistent wellness communication
  • Make wellness benefit information readily accessible
  • Encourage wellness as a part of your workplace culture