Telemedicine is convenient, simple, and a great way to give more employees access to health care. But, there can be a lot of misunderstandings about what it is and how to use it. Fortunately, there are many ways employers, brokers, and vendors can generate interest in telemedicine among employees.
We've talked before about the benefits of telemedicine and reasons why employees don't use it. If you want to educate your team and help them understand the telemedicine services you’re offering, try these five tips to spread awareness.
1. Host a company-wide meeting to explain the service and its benefits
Company-wide meetings are one of the best places to share information about employee benefits. These meetings are often mandatory and offer an opportunity for dialogue between management and workers. During the meeting, explain why the service will benefit workplace wellness as well as individual personal wellness. Discuss how the option of telemedicine reduces issues like presenteeism, where employees go to work even while ill, making them more likely to infect other employees and reduce workplace productivity.
Finally, help them see how this option is so much easier than going to the doctor’s office, which is why it should often be utilized as a first step.
By sharing the bigger picture of the benefits, it helps employees see how telemedicine can benefit them. Sometimes, just giving employees a clear idea of the company’s vision for health promotion and workplace wellness is the best way to communicate these ideas with them.
2. Utilize marketing tactics to keep the service in your employees’ minds at work and at home
Health promotion is a business tactic, which means it can be beneficial to get marketing involved in helping employees adopt and engage with telemedicine services. Ask your marketing team to come up with ways to make sure employees remember their telemedicine option when they need it, such as:
- Include information about telemedicine in the company newsletter
- Share videos that explain how to use the service with employees
- Hang promotional flyers that explain the benefits in the lunchroom, employee wellness center, or other areas, so employees will see the information during their downtime
- Use social media advertisements or regular emails to remind employees about the service and encourage them to use it, especially at time of the year when it may be most helpful, for example during flu and cold season or right before summer vacation
You can also send information to your employees at home in the form of flyers, informational packets, or postcards. This will not only help increase the likelihood that your employee will see the information while they’re away from the workplace, but it might also reach a spouse or another family member who can benefit from telemedicine services as well.
Keeping the service in people’s minds is a major step in changing their habits from scheduling a visit to the doctor’s to contacting a provider through their laptop or smart device. Your employees not only have to think of telemedicine as an option when they have a medical question or concern, but they also have to remember it’s part of their benefits package.
3. Invite informed individuals to speak to employees
Your insurance broker, insurer, or telemedicine vendor will likely be able to speak with authority and knowledge on this subject in a way that no one else at your company can. They will be able to answer employees’ questions and help them see the benefits of using telemedicine services. Inviting them to your company so that they can speak with your employees, either in a meeting or in a one-on-one situation, is a great way to help spread awareness.
You might also choose to have the informed party set up a table in the lunchroom or another common space for employees where they can visit and ask questions in a comfortable, relaxed atmosphere. Whatever your company’s situation, it can be invaluable to have an expert on the premises who can truly sell the service to your employees.
4. Review your benefit designs and consider the cost factor
Reviewing your benefit design with your insurance broker is key to balancing access with engagement. While you might think that offering the lowest possible cost will encourage more of your employees to make use of telemedicine services, that might not necessarily be the case.
As shown in a Mercer National Survey, companies that offered telemedicine for too low a price (or none at all) consistently saw lower engagement among employees than those who offered the service for a reasonable price. This suggests that employees associate value in proportion with the cost of the service—a cheaper plan might be perceived as less useful than one at a moderate price point.
It’s worthwhile to consider if this might be a factor in your organization, and discuss adjusting the benefit accordingly.
5. Utilize incentives to educate and excite employees
People love a bargain, but they also love a prize. Offering fun incentives is a great way to get your employees excited about their telemedicine service. Ask your broker or vendor if promotional items with the name of the service are available in the forms of t-shirts, mugs, keychains, water bottles, frisbees, and the like. You might even be able to get a good deal if you buy in bulk.
Help your employees use telemedicine and help your company in the process
Worksite health promotion is an important part of making sure your employees are genuinely happy and healthy, which in turn increases productivity and enhances workplace wellness. Telemedicine is one of the most advantageous programs for all these benefits. It’s not only safe and simple to use, but rapidly becoming a viable option for employers all across the country, from big corporations to small businesses.
Still, you have to make sure your employees actually use the service to see its benefits. Hopefully these 5 promotion tactics will help get your team interested and involved with this choice for easy access to health care.