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February Employee Benefits Engagement Campaign: Heart Health

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men, women and people of most ethnic groups in the United States – yet the CDC reports that only 16% of employers provided information (brochures, videos, posters, pamphlets and newsletters) to their employees last year on how to manage it! That’s surprising, considering that heart disease and strokes are “bad for business,” annually costing a per employee average of over a week in absences and $1,100 in lost productivity.  

February is American Heart Month, so employers around the country will be rolling out initiatives to raise awareness of heart disease and its risk factors and sharing tips on how to live a heart-healthy lifestyle. Employers play a particularly powerful role in Americans’ health care, providing employees with a range of benefit programs that help them manage their health. Dedicating a month to educate your employees and engage them in heart-healthy activities is not only a great way to show you care, but also a way to positively impact the health of your workforce.  

Use these campaign recommendations to set off on the right path! 

Set Your Campaign Objectives  

Heart health is an easy and natural theme to tie in with employee benefits and demonstrate their value, financially and otherwise. Aside from generating goodwill and reaping the benefits of having a healthier workforce, you may want to increase enrollment in or utilization of specific benefit products, programs or resources that support employees’ heart health and wellness.  

For example,  

  • Increase downloads of your company's wellbeing app and/or participation in your February wellness challenge. 

  • Boost utilization of your health screening, health coaching or gym membership programs. 

  • Raise awareness of preventive services covered by your major medical plans.

Set Up a Communications Plan  

As a month-long campaign, you’ll want to deploy a robust communications plan that reaches employees with actionable information.  

  • Comms Mix: Connect with employees over the channels they prefer and are likely to pay attention to. These include a combination of email, text, corporate social media, postcards with QR codes, the company intranet and on-premises signage. Aside from formal communications, company and team leaders can also promote the campaign at all-hands and departmental meetings.   

  • Messaging: Your campaign communications can raise awareness of heart disease and encourage employees to take action, whether that’s learning something new, attending a Heart Health event or scheduling an appointment with their doctor. 

  • Call-to-Action: Ensure that your communications provide clear directives, such as “Visit your benefits portal,” “Join our Heart Health wellbeing challenge” or “Download this handy tip sheet.”  

Creative Ways to Get Your Employees Engaged During Heart Health Month  

  • Conduct a series of in-person or virtual educational events covering Heart Health basics and the employee benefits that support them 
  • Launch a weekly email series that shares Heart Health facts, resources and links to employee benefit programs 
  • Invite a speaker from your health plan or other benefit vendor to present at a Heart Healthy lunch-and-learn 
  • Launch a February wellbeing challenge focused on heart-healthy eating, moderate exercise and stress reduction 
  • Host weekly group stress-busting sessions featuring a mindfulness exercise or set of stretching exercises 
  • Distribute “{COMPANY NAME} Cares about Heart Health” t-shirts or stress balls 
  • Feature heart-healthy snacks in breakrooms and vending machines 
  • Invite your employees to join a Heart Health ERG or similar group on an organizational social media channel 
  • Share a different heart-healthy tip, recipe or stat every day over employee social channels 
  • Encourage managers to host walking meetings, when/if appropriate 
  • Host a National Wear Red Day® 
  • Get more ideas from the CDC! 

Tap Into These Handy Resources 

Resources for you: 

CDC’s American Heart Month Toolkits 

American Heart Association 

American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women® 

American Heart Association’s Wellb-being Works Better resources for employers (and employees) 

National Heart, Blood, and Lung Institute resources 

WebMD Heart Disease Resource Center 

Resources for your employees: 

28 Days Towards a Healthy Heart (NHBLI) 

25 Ways To Take Part in Heart Month (NHBLI) 

Stress and Strain, Body and Brain (AHA) 

Common Heart Attack Warning Signs (AHA) 

10 Ways to Improve Your Heart Health Infographic (AHA) 

Managing My Blood Pressure (CDC) 

Blood Pressure 101 Quiz (CDC) 


This Campaign Helper is featured in the Q12023 Employee Benefit Enrollment & Engagement playbook, where more insights are waiting for you.