WHE13: How to Move Employees from Awareness to Action

by Joe Sherwood on July 24, 2014

This episode is the first in a two-part series about leading a health behavioral change. Episode 13 focuses on leading a fairly straightforward change, such as influencing employees to get a biometric health screening or to take a financial wellness assessment. Episode 14 will address leading a more complex change effort, such as influencing employees to take the recommended actions that will improve their physical or financial health.


For many years, the Four Engagement Levels (also known as the Action-to-Awareness model) has been a helpful model for planning communication tactics. This model recognizes that when implementing a new change effort, leaders need to plan multiple communication tactics that will help people progress through the four stages of engagement:

  • Awareness
  • Understanding
  • Commitment
  • Action.

In practice, engagement and behavior change does not always happen in such a clear-cut, linear fashion. In addition, several tactics such as social media are used at multiple levels – not just the awareness stage. An actual communication plan should be custom-developed based on the organization’s goals and circumstances. This model helps with identifying the communication tactics that can lead people to take action.

In this episode, we explain how the four levels of engagement apply to workforce health, discuss how to plan communication outcomes for each level, and provide examples of communication tactics that could be used to lead employees to each level.

Joining Jesse on the show once again is Terry Sherwood, his colleague from Aspendale Communications. Terry has over 25 years of experience helping companies communicate effectively with their employees. Her diverse background in human resources, corporate communications, and marketing provides a blend of creativity and practicality that delivers results. Terry has held senior consulting positions with several large consulting firms, including PriceWaterhouseCoopers and Towers Watson.

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