During the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve heard a lot about how telemedicine and other remote offerings, like digital musculoskeletal pain employer programs, can support remote employees.

But what about employees who have returned to work or continued to go in person? Employees in the manufacturing, transportation, and healthcare industries tend to be essential employees. They’re also more at risk for musculoskeletal pain because their jobs often involve lifting, repetitive movements, twisting, or bending – all risk factors for musculoskeletal pain in the workplace.

These workers are also less likely to be on their phones or computer during the workday. That can make promoting digital programs more of a challenge. But with 81% of Americans now owning a smartphone, chances are, they’re connected from home.

Keeping non-digital workers informed about digital programs simply requires a different approach. When launching a digital MSK, or another digital wellness campaign, try the techniques below. A digital wellness campaign doesn’t need email or social media to succeed – but planning ahead helps.

What works

Have an official launch day. Once you’ve signed contracts and decided to launch with a digital MSK provider, choose a launch day to announce the new program to your employees. Hosting an in-person presentation gives employees an opportunity to ask questions. It’s also more attention-grabbing than quietly placing posters. Ask your provider for a list of frequently asked questions beforehand, or for introductory slides to share.

Share information with team leads. Before your official launch date, give team leads a heads up about the new program and arm them with answers to frequently asked questions. If your company doesn’t often host all-staff meetings, team meetings can be an alternative introduction to your new program.

Place posters and flyers where workers enter the building or take breaks. Posters, table tents, and flyers in break rooms or even restrooms can help reach employees throughout the day. Keep in mind that workers may not spend as much time gathered in enclosed spaces during COVID-19, so make sure you place materials in other highly-trafficked areas as well, like near the time clock. Remember, it can take multiple views for new information to sink in. As a rule of thumb, advertisers typically say it takes seven sightings before a new message takes hold. Seeing the same message in different locations can help information stick.

Make it easy to sign up. When you promote a digital program over email or social media, employees can often sign up by simply clicking through a link. The sign-up process isn’t as seamless with print materials, so it’s important to make your enrollment directions as simple and clear as possible. Avoid listing a long URL on a poster, for example, or placing a QR code without explaining how to use it. Flyers or postcards with simple directions give employees the opportunity to sign up once they get home, too.

Recommend your program on an ongoing basis. MSK pain conditions are common: One in two people develop one in their lifetime. But that doesn’t mean an employee will necessarily be in pain right when your program launches. After your initial launch, make sure employees know how to find your program when they need it. Team leads can continue to be a resource beyond the initial program launch. If an employee complains to human resources or their supervisor about ongoing back pain, consider directing them to your MSK program. Healthcare workers at your on-site clinic, if you use one, can also direct appropriate employees to your MSK program on an ongoing basis.

What doesn’t work

Only sending messages to their work email. Depending on your workforce, it may be worth it to include emailing among other outreach channels – but don’t rely on it completely. Employees who aren’t connected to their inbox all day can easily miss messages, or may rarely check their work email. Some companies don’t provide work email addresses for all employees, so if you do email, make sure you have alternate information sources, too.

Only posting to your intranet, especially outside of open enrollment. Company intranets are a helpful repository of employee information. While employees may visit your page to request time off or during open enrollment, visiting the intranet is not likely part of their daily routine.

Providing too much information all at once. Employee benefits are often complicated. It can be tempting to anticipate every question employees may ask and include all the answers on a poster. Psychologists have found that the typical person can only hold five to nine chunks of information in their mind at a time. Instead, share only the most important information – what the program is and how to sign up, for example. Then, give employees a website, email address, or phone number to reach out to with more questions.

Using the same materials forever. The advertising rule of sevens mentioned earlier doesn’t mean that employees need to see the exact same message over and over for it to sink in. Plan on replacing print materials every six to 12 months so employees know the program is still available. If your digital MSK pain program expands its treatment options, they should also provide updated materials. Changing your outreach materials will help the program stay front-of-mind for employees.

Even though employees in industries such as manufacturing and transportation aren’t digitally connected throughout the day, they can still benefit from digital health programs. At Fern Health, we provide our clients with personalized outreach materials designed around what makes sense for their business to make enrollment pain-free. Ready to learn more about Fern Health? Get in touch using the form below.

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