Promoting Healthy Workplaces by Building Cultures of Health and Applying Strategic Communications

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Abstract

Objective:

The aim of the study was to identify key success elements of employer-sponsored health promotion (wellness) programs.

Methods:

We conducted an updated literature review, held discussions with subject matter experts, and visited nine companies with exemplary programs to examine current best and promising practices in workplace health promotion programs.

Results:

Best practices include establishing a culture of health and using strategic communications. Key elements that contribute to a culture of health are leadership commitment, social and physical environmental support, and employee involvement. Strategic communications are designed to educate, motivate, market offerings, and build trust. They are tailored and targeted, multichanneled, bidirectional, with optimum timing, frequency, and placement.

Conclusions:

Increased efforts are needed to disseminate lessons learned from employers who have built cultures of health and excellent communications strategies and apply these insights more broadly in workplace settings.

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