It’s World Health Day, the annual commemoration marking the founding of the World Health Organisation (WHO). Since its inception the WHO’s aim has been to raise health awareness and develop programmes to improve health throughout the world. These programmes have successfully managed to eradicate smallpox as well as reduce the risk from other infectious diseases.

With this largely achieved, the WHO’s attention has now turned to the preventable, lifestyle diseases which are increasingly impacting on our overall health and wellbeing, with 2016 seeing a programme on diabetes awareness.

Companies too, have a role to play in assisting the WHO and their own employees. I believe communication is key and can make a difference in improving awareness and forming a culture of health and wellbeing.

Here are some examples on how to use internal communications effectively to reach your employees

  • Establish a guide – at Amec Foster Wheeler we have a Health and Wellbeing Guide that covers a wide variety of topics including relaxation techniques, dealing with the effects of stress, tips on staying hydrated and advice on sleep hygiene
  • Set up network groups – this is especially great for global companies like ours to connect with other employees worldwide who may have had similar experience to yours. For example, our ‘We Care’ network group supports employees who are caring for a loved one. With over 130 active members across the company, this group aims to raise awareness of the range of caring circumstances and varied challenges faced by people who both work and care for others. Or the very lively ‘Health & Fitness’ group with over 2,000 members in which our employees share their advice and views on health-related topics
  • Regularly issue quick tips – to the organisation by email, on the intranet or in newsletters; sometimes a small or short term change in a person’s lifestyle can create long-term benefits. You can send out these messages along with your regular internal communications, be it a weekly news email or your employee magazine

It’s important to use communication as a tool to establish a culture that promotes health and wellness within your company. Try varying the styles and types of communications to reach as many employees as possible. From long detailed documents, to live chats via a network group or some quick and easy to read tips, there are multiple ways to get your health and wellness messages out to your employees.

We believe that bringing these issues to the attention of your employees will act as a gentle reminder that health is a most precious asset.

At Amec Foster Wheeler we are committed to excellence in occupational health and World Health Day is a great opportunity to remind ourselves about the importance of looking after our own health.