Strategic employee communications that lead
Fortune 500 companies through transformation

How to promote wellness in the workplace through your HR communications

Woman meditating among chaotic work supplies and electronics

Create a positive, engaging and nurturing environment for your employees

In today’s hectic work environment, promoting employee wellness is crucial for creating a thriving and productive workforce. No longer just a “nice to have” benefit, as companies are competing to attract and retain the best talent, employees now expect wellness programs from their employer. 

With a largely remote workforce finding themselves working longer hours than ever before and labor shortages spurring longer work days in many service industries, employee burnout is at an all-time high. 

It is often hard to get all of your work done in any given day, let alone come home and find the energy to complete all the personal tasks that await you. When employees feel supported and valued at work, their overall well-being improves, leading to increased engagement, reduced stress levels, improved organizational performance and enhanced job satisfaction.

Create a culture that is supportive

Promoting workplace wellness begins with creating an environment where employees feel safe and comfortable discussing their well-being. HR communications should emphasize an organization’s commitment to supporting employees’ holistic well-being, including physical, mental, financial and social health. 

Start by regularly sharing resources, such as employee assistance programs, wellness initiatives and workshops through various communication channels (e.g., email, intranet portal, digital signage, and break room bulletin boards). Encourage managers to have open conversations about wellness during team meetings and one-on-one discussions. Also encourage employees to collaborate and build relationships, which will foster a culture of respect, inclusivity, trust and support.  

67% of employees who work for organizations with wellness programs like their jobs more, and this same percentage reported being very likely to recommend their employer to others.

Communicate wellness programs

Many organizations offer wellness programs; however, they are often underutilized because they aren’t properly promoted and your employees don’t know they exist. HR communications play a key role in ensuring that employees are well-informed about the resources available to them. 

Your annual communications calendar should include, at a minimum, monthly targeted campaigns promoting your wellness resources such as yoga classes, gym memberships, company-sponsored 5K community events, on-site blood drives, smoking cessation programs, stress management programs and financial workshops, to name a few. 

Here are some wellness initiatives to consider to meet the needs and expectations of today’s workforce: 

  • Provide access to mental health resources, such as counseling services or employee assistance programs. 
  • Organize wellness fairs or health screenings to raise awareness and provide opportunities for employees to learn about their health.

Leverage various communication channels, including newsletters, digital signage, breakroom posters or tent cards, and social media platforms, to effectively reach employees and promote participation.

Prioritize work-life balance

Prioritizing and maintaining work-life balance is oftentimes difficult, yet necessary to reduce employee burnout and increase job satisfaction. It is the role of HR communicators to promote the importance of setting boundaries, taking breaks and disconnecting from work outside of working hours. 

Here are a few ways that different leadership groups can support employee work-life balance:

  • Employers can implement flexible work arrangements such as compressed workweeks, hybrid or remote work, flexible hours and time-off policies that enable employees to prioritize their personal lives and participate in well-being activities. 
  • Managers should actively encourage breaks, vacations and time off to recharge and rejuvenate. 
  • HR communicators should feature employee stories and testimonials on your intranet or e-newsletters that highlight the positive impact of work-life balance on overall happiness and productivity.

At Pivot Strategies, one of our core values is “self-care is non-negotiable” and we don’t just say it, we live it. We practice it several ways from playing a game of pickleball at a company offsite, attending a self-care workshop led by our CEO, or working flexible hours.

Celebrate achievements and recognize efforts

A great way to promote your wellness programs is by recognizing and celebrating employee achievements and wellness efforts. HR communications should regularly acknowledge individuals or teams actively participating in wellness programs or living a healthy lifestyle. Feature success stories, share photos and encourage employees to share their accomplishments and experiences. Provide a small company gift to show your appreciation for their efforts. Celebrating these achievements inspires others and fosters a sense of community and encouragement.

Promote physical activity and movement

According to Wellsteps, there is copious evidence to prove that regular physical activity has numerous benefits for employee wellness, including improved health behaviors, reduced elevated health risks and reduced healthcare costs. Encourage and motivate employees to incorporate movement into their daily routines by:

  • Providing access to fitness facilities 
  • Establishing partnerships with local gyms
  • Encouraging walking meetings and stretch breaks
  • Offering standing desks
  • Conducting a company-wide fitness activity
  • Handing out exercise bands that employees can use during conference calls for light strength training
  • Promoting wellness challenges or step-count competitions. Who doesn’t love a little friendly competition? 

Promoting physical activity will give your employees that added boost of energy, improve their physical health and help them to reduce overall stress.

Encourage workday breaks and mental rest

Whether you’re working on a tight deadline or trying to cram five days of work into four so you can chaperone your son’s field trip, it is crucial to prioritize mental rest and regular breaks during the workday. Encourage employees to step away from their desks to recharge and refocus. 

Mental rest break suggestions:

  • 15-minute meditation moments to promote the importance of mindfulness
  • 20-second laptop breaks every 20 minutes to rest eyes and prevent headaches
  • Drink a glass of water to rehydrate
  • Walks around the building
  • Walk over to introduce oneself to a new colleague. 

Additionally, it is important to encourage employees to disconnect, set personal boundaries and get restful sleep during non-working hours. Prioritizing mental rest will help improve employees’ focus and overall well-being.

Promoting wellness in the workplace through effective HR communications is an ongoing commitment that produces numerous benefits for both employees and organizations. By prioritizing a culture of openness and support, communicating wellness programs and resources, encouraging work-life balance, and celebrating achievements, HR communicators can contribute to a workforce that thrives. Remember, well-informed and supported employees are more likely to be engaged, productive and satisfied, leading to long-term success for your organization.

Are you looking for support building HR communications strategies to promote wellness in your workplace? One of our HR communicators can help you determine the most effective way to communicate with your employees. Work with Pivot Strategies.

About the Author

Ramona RichardsSenior Communications Consultant

Ramona brings more than 25 years of corporate experience to Pivot specializing in internal employee communications and change initiatives. Having worked in several industries such as professional services, financial services, banking, and energy, she has helped companies develop communications programs for many functional areas including HR, finance, operations, product, sales, marketing, and technology. She is a true brand ambassador helping companies build their employer brand, employee experience and shape their culture.

Connect with Ramona Richards on LinkedIn →

Gain strategic insight from Pivot's experts