In spite of the numerous benefits of an internal wellness program, gaining leadership buy-in can be challenging.
If management hasn’t approved your latest wellness pitch due to budget constraints, a lack of resources, or misperceptions about its effectiveness, here are some tips to help you revisit the subject.
Show the benefits of your plan
By showing how the plan will benefit the business, management can make an informed decision about whether to adopt it.
Senior executives are under continuous pressure to ensure their businesses perform well in order to gain the most benefit from their resources. In such an environment, even good ideas can be dismissed if they do not seem relevant right away.
Management is more likely to accept your pitch if you show how the program contributes to company productivity and revenue straight away. Its not enough to just convince them to invest in workplace wellness; they need to believe in the benefits and ROI possibilities too. By addressing key concerns straight away, you can demonstrate that workplace health solutions do not have to be complicated or expensive; they just need to be purpose-driven, well-implemented, and supported from the top down.
Focus on the data. Examine your companies absenteeism rates, and healthcare utilisation to identify and demonstrate problem areas that employees currently face. Marketing reports, infographics and feedback taken during onboarding and exit interview can also shed light on information that employers would be wise to leverage.
Emphasise Return on Investment
You will be more likely to get leadership buy-in if you can demonstrate a strong and probable return on investment (ROI).
1. Calculate a ballpark figure for how much time or human capital it would take the company to implement health benefits and then calculate the overall savings the company can expect.
2. Outline how company challenges can be addressed with health and wellbeing strategies and explain why investing will provide value and benefit everyone involved.
3. Since reducing costs is a constant goal for companies, if you can demonstrate a strong and probable return of investment, decision-makers will be likelier to invest.
Make your case
By assessing your company’s wellness needs you can help determine and identify opportunities for improvement and include them in your pitch.
By emphasising employee pain points, such as a lack of time to exercise, long commutes or costly childcare, you can help promote a holistic view of health that goes beyond profit and return on investment. Decision-makers are humans, and they’re guided by heart too. If you can stir emotions with your pitch, and inspire your boss with your vision of a healthier, happier workforce you are halfway there.
How prevalent is absenteeism and presentism in the workplace? Have you noticed a downtick in productivity in certain departments? A company with any of these concerns could benefit from a wellness program tailored to its needs.
Analyse performance metrics
Happy, healthy employees that are productive and take fewer sick days and benefits can lead to increased engagement, lower turnover leading to cost savings.
Research conducted by the RAND Corporation suggests that health programs reduce healthcare costs and increase productivity enough to offset their initial cost. And a report by Mineral shows that the revenue of companies with good employee morale is 2.8 times higher than that of companies with stressed employees. Productivity at companies with high morale is also 5.5 times higher than at companies where lower morale reigns.
An extensive long-term study found that companies with good corporate cultures that encouraged a variety of leadership initiatives, and which highly valued their employees, customers, and owners achieved 682 percent revenue growth. During the same time period, companies without thriving company cultures grew only 166 percent in revenue. Thus, based on this study – healthy company cultures lead to higher revenue growth by more than four times.
Demonstrate the cost of high turnover
Getting a big pay check isn’t as motivating as it once was. A happy, healthy workplace is built on a strong company culture. When it aligns with a company’s values, ambitions, and needs, it can unite employees.
A Glassdoor survey of over 5,000 adults across the U.S. and Europe confirmed this. Sixty-six percent of respondents said they judge a company’s culture before applying for a job, and seventy-seven percent said they judge a company’s culture before applying
The benefits of good morale, job satisfaction and productivity extend beyond employee satisfaction too. Healthy and happy employees tend to stay with an organisation longer and according to SHRM, they are most likely to contribute most to a company’s success. On the other hand low employee retention is associated with many expenses to a business – severance pay, exit interviews, recruiting and onboarding for the new hire, as well as lost productivity for all those directly affected.
Companies with healthy benefits even have an advantage when it comes to attracting and retaining top talent too. Employees increasingly seek out companies that prioritise their health and well-being. A benefits package is a perk considered by 9 out of 10 employees when evaluating a new job company.
Show potential onboarding strategies
A successful corporate wellness program relies on having well-informed and dedicated people steering it. Generally, it is HR that is responsible for understanding workforce health trends and designing programs that can improve participation and engagement outcomes. But sometimes the HR department is time or resource-strapped. In this case, shopping around for the right wellness program can prevent challenges from occurring.
Managed wellness programs provide the HR department with help analysing employee data launching activities and the quick resolution of challenges.
In traditional wellness programs, one-size-fits-all approaches are often used because management mistakenly believes they will provide a higher return on investment. However, without a correct analysis of the number of employees who participate and engage in scheduled activities, it can be difficult for companies to realise the program’s true ROI.
Often these programs are more effective with end-to-end support because the account manager can help HR customise activities and challenges to the workplace, conduct data analysis and reporting and help the program achieve its goals. Essentially, managed wellness programs ensure that money spent on health-related campaigns is well spent.
Try before you buy
In order to determine whether a wellness program is worth investing in, test it out first.
You can organise to test most wellness programs on a smaller scale. Trial events or pilot programs can encourage support from management by demonstrating what a program entails and how it will look once implemented without a large investment. This can help leadership make an informed decision about whether to commit to the program long-term having had a first-hand look at what’s possible.
Additionally, testing a small-scale program can provide you with an opportunity to collect feedback from employees and make adjustments accordingly. By doing so, you can increase the chance that the program will be well-received and embraced by employees, which can help justify the expense and help secure leadership buy-in.
Once convinced of the benefits and effectiveness of your proposed workplace wellness solution, it will be easier to expand the program or organise larger more frequent events, satisfied that leadership is on board too.
Can you show them the way? Yes you can!
The majority of HR workers feel uncomfortable proposing new ideas like wellness programs to their bosses – despite the fact that bottom-up innovation can be extremely valuable for a company.
Clearly pitched ideas that show benefits, ROI and address concerns will almost always be well received by management. Keep the standard of your pitching high and it will pay dividends for you through continued support, buy in and results.
Need some help convincing decision-makers?
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