Key Tactics to Secure Leadership Buy-In
How to Get Your C-suite Invested, Physically and Financially, in Your Company's Wellness Program
How To Bring Leaders On Board
Building a culture of health does not solely rest on Human Resource Teams' shoulders. For optimal success, leaders at every level need to support and drive these initiatives. How can you secure leadership buy-in? The first step is ensuring they understand how and why wellness programs benefit employees and the overall company.
Wellness programs have historically been viewed as employee-driven initiatives implemented out of moral obligation or appeasement. This rationale no longer stands true, as the value of caring for employees' health, and its return on investments, has become undeniable. Improvements in a company's turnover rate, productivity, employee satisfaction, loyalty, and brand image can all be a result of a comprehensive wellness program. C-Suite leaders, who often focus on the big picture, may not understand the ongoing need and demand for wellbeing support. For this reason, it is imperative to invite them in, offer context to how these programs impact the big picture, and demonstrate the value behind their participation.
It is no easy feat to get a holistic, sustainable wellness program successfully implemented. FitPros, your workplace wellness partner, is here every step of the way to provide keys to success. Below are 3 key tactics to better approach decision-makers and secure their involvement in wellness programs:
#1 Understand Your Companies Business Goals
Senior leaders focus on high-level strategic goals with a broader lens than other positions in a company. The constant pressure to ensure a business performs can create a stressful environment where even the best of ideas can fall to the back burner if there is not an urgent need. It is important to help leaders understand the value of your initiative and the plan of execution quickly and efficiently. How do you do that? The key is linking wellness programs to key business goals.
A consistent goal across all companies is reducing overhead. Although a wellness program is an investment, an unhealthy workforce costs more. Recent research from the Integrative Benefits Institute indicates poor health can cost employers up to $530 Billion per year, with lost productivity due to avoidable workforce absence accounting for almost 63% of the cost of benefits. In short, investing in your employees' well-being can help feed the overarching goal of cost reduction.
Business leaders love numbers. Share these statistics with your C-Suite and watch their interest rise:
Workplace health initiatives can help reduce sick leave absenteeism by 27% and healthcare costs for companies by 26% (WHO)
For every dollar spent on wellness programs, the company saves $5.82 in lower employee absenteeism costs (ISDH).
Well-designed wellness programs lead to a return on investment (ROI) of $1.50 to $3 per dollar spent over a timeframe of two-to-nine years (US Chambers)
63% of employers offering wellness programs reported increased financial sustainability and growth (IFEBP)
When approaching executives with your proposed wellness plans they'll be looking to see the return-on-investment (ROI) but it will also be important to convey the overall value of the initiative and how it will drive the company forward. Shaping a more engaged, productive, and energized workforce that can better aid in reaching company goals all starts with investing in their employee's health.
#2 Demonstrate Demand
The need to keep employees connected and engaged continues to be more essential with each passing year. As COVID continues to permeate, the Great Resignation rages on. With a record high of 4.5 million Americans leaving their jobs in 2021, employers need to do everything they can to hold onto talent and ensure they have the tools to be healthy and happy in their position. Investing in wellness initiatives can not only help hold on to valued members of your workforce but can also give you a competitive edge when recruiting new talent into your organization.
Industry reports can help show just how ubiquitous wellness programs are and stress the risk of falling behind their competition. According to a survey, 87% of current employers are committed to workplace wellness, and 9 out of 10 companies offer some sort of wellness program. In a tight labor market, applicants will be expecting companies to provide a strong benefits package. Implementing a wellness program can be a great way to meet expectations and even set yourself apart.
Exploring employee needs and interests will help not only with establishing demand but also, provide insight into what employees will actively participate in. A simple pulse survey or in-depth wellbeing assessment can easily showcase the demand for wellness programs from your employees and build a use case for its impact. It is an opportunity to establish two-way communication and invites employees to build something together, giving them a direct voice to corporate decision-makers. Here is a great sample survey we use at Fitpros to get you started!
#3 Show the Impact of Leadership Buy-in
Now that you have made your case for why workplace wellness programs are a positive investment, you can show the substantial impact that leaders can have on its success. When an initiative receives support from senior leadership, it demonstrates a higher level of importance and priority to the rest of the company. In a case study performed by WellSteps, companies were placed into one of the three groups based on their leadership support for employee wellness: Weak, Moderate, or Strong. The percentage of employees who participated and who changed at least one behavior were recorded.
As shown in the above chart, companies with stronger leadership support had higher participation rates and more employees who reported at least one behavior change.
Today's employees have a lot on their plate. With a constantly growing workload, taking time to improve their health may not be a priority while at work. In this scenario, just providing a wellness program may not be enough. Taking care of oneself should be part of job responsibilities. Executives can use their status to communicate the value and priority of participating in wellness programs, resulting in greater employee engagement, ROI, and ultimately, its success!
For a company-wide program to succeed, it needs buy-in from leadership at the very least. To be even more effective, there should be active and visible participation among your senior executives. It is a big win to have approval, endorsement, and involvement from your C-suite. Companies that designate one leader as the face of the initiative to better direct and promote wellness activities have seen tremendous success!
FitPros a turn-key wellness provider empowering people to take charge of their personal health wherever they work.
Contact FitPros today for more information on how to diversify your company’s wellbeing offerings to help employees meet their health and fitness goals.