Social Media + Employee Wellness
By Jamie Moody
Senior Account Executive, Benefits
The average amount of time a person checks their smart phone is approximately 85 times
a day, spending a total of five hours browsing the web and using apps. Given this study,
employees are spending more time than ever communicating via mobile devices and social
media websites. Recognizing this trend, companies are rebuilding their employee wellness
programs to include Internet-based social networks that are equal parts fitness-challenge,
health journal, and online support group. Incorporating elements of social media into a
wellness program can boost participation and engagement as well as foster a culture of health
and wellness. Below are some ways to integrate social media into your employee wellness
program. Remember to choose the tools that best align with your goals and the technologies
your employees consume most.
TOOL #1: BLOGS
A blog is a great way to get started with social media. Blogs are simple and effective for
creating and posting content such as reminders, articles, and news while allowing for realtime
feedback. Microblogs like Twitter are ideal for engaging with users in real time and
keeping a stream of content flowing to employees. You can use microblogs to communicate
short pieces of information such as health challenges, wellness events, annual enrollment, etc.
Blogs can also be integrated into your existing website or intranet and provide a cost-effective
way to communicate information and respond to employee feedback. Sharing the names of
employees succeeding in the wellness program via blogs or microblogs can create companywide
awareness of the program. If there’s an award or prize associated with the recognition,
make that known too. The public recognition can encourage others to participate.
TOOL #2: SOCIAL NETWORKS
With social networking sites such as Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn, you can engage
employees in the communication style they prefer while building a sense of community. On a
social network, employees and their families can subscribe to company wellness or benefits
groups which will allow them to access updates and provide feedback. Employees can also
share personal success stories and challenges they face on their lifelong path to good health.
By creating Facebook groups based on employees’ wellness interests, employees can invite
others to join the group and become more involved. If some of your employees are interested
in forming a walking group, then create a “Walking Club” group in which members can post
dates and times of group walks as well as charity events or races they plan on participating in.
Invite employees to create groups of their own and encourage their colleagues to participate.
The groups can hold contests to name their team and come up with a logo and/or slogan.
TOOL #3: PODCASTS AND VIDEOS
A podcast can help you communicate with employees using audio or video files downloaded
or streamed online to a computer or mobile device. Podcasts can be accessed anytime and are
great ways to explain wellness programs and resources. Create and maintain a podcast library
so employees can access news, events, and wellness tips at their convenience. Employees can
listen on the way to work, while they browse the Web on breaks, or even while they exercise.