Sunday, April 13, 2008

Make Your Employee Newsletter Drive People to Get Help

Do you have an employee assistance program or some sort of counseling service to help employees resolve personal problems that interfere with job performance. You’re smart if you do, but is your newsletter shooting this program in the foot. Perhaps your program is nothing more than an “800” hotline available to your employees located on the back of an insurance card? If so, this service is under-utilized if is it is not well promoted and it is especially under-utilized if your work-life-productivity newsletter does not encourage employees to use it continuously in its articles. One way to promote such a program and boost utilization, is to mention the EAP to employees in newsletter articles that discuss specific types of personal problems. Drawing attention to the EAP in articles will cause employees motivated by the article, to go to the next step and phone for help. Also, a newsletter must not be superficial but also should not be too comprehensive either. Either type of article will increase risk to your organization. Why? If articles are too comprehensive then employees get too much information and think they have everything they need to effectively self-treat the personal problem, affliction, or disease themselves. They may seek the wrong treatment, use half-measures, or simply make renewed attempts with willpower to control symptoms. Short articles can be extremely effective, but don’t count on employees getting much out of a newsletter that only discusses simple subjects like “how important it is to eat five servings of fruits and vegetables a day—something almost everyone knows. Your newsletter must go farther, deeper by encourage people to use the organization’s EAP.

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