In spite of the numerous benefits of an internal wellness program, gaining leadership buy-in can be tricky.
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.
If management hasn’t approved your latest wellness pitch, whether it is 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 demonstrating how the wellness program will benefit the business, management can make an informed decision about whether to adopt it. Highlight how the program contributes to company productivity and revenue, addressing key concerns upfront. Emphasize that workplace health solutions don’t 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 company’s absenteeism rates, healthcare utilization, and feedback from employees. Marketing reports, infographics, and information gathered during onboarding and exit interviews can shed light on problem areas that employees currently face. Presenting this data will help management understand the need for a wellness program and its potential impact on employee well-being.
- Emphasize Return on Investment (ROI): Demonstrate a strong and probable ROI to gain leadership buy-in. Calculate the time or human capital required to implement health benefits and outline the overall savings the company can expect. Explain how health and well-being strategies can address company challenges and provide value to everyone involved. Decision-makers are more likely to invest if they see a strong and probable return on investment.
- Make your case: Assess your company’s wellness needs and include opportunities for improvement in your pitch. Highlight employee pain points, such as a lack of time to exercise or costly childcare, to promote a holistic view of health. Appeal to decision-makers’ emotions and inspire them with your vision of a healthier, happier workforce.
- Use performance metrics: Demonstrate how a wellness program can lead to happy, healthy, and productive employees who take fewer sick days and benefits. Cite research that shows the reduction of healthcare costs and increased productivity resulting from health programs. Show how companies with good employee morale and thriving company cultures achieve higher revenue growth.
- Demonstrate the risks of not offering health benefits: Show the importance of a strong company culture and its impact on attracting and retaining top talent. Emphasize the benefits of good morale, job satisfaction, and productivity. Explain the costs associated with low employee retention and the expenses involved in replacing and onboarding new hires.
- Show onboarding strategies: Highlight the benefits of utilizing managed wellness programs that provide support for analyzing employee data, launching activities, and resolving challenges.
- Test things first: Use personalized experiences, success stories from similar companies, data security, design, pricing, and account management support options when evaluating wellness program offers and test programs on a smaller scale through trial events or pilot programs to demonstrate their potential impact and garner support from management.
Prioritizing Employee Health and Well-being
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.
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 also 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.
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
Good Morale =ROI
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 offering health benefits have an advantage when it comes to attracting and retaining top talent too – with employees increasingly seeking 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.
Customize for Success
A wellness program’s success depends on the people steering it. The HR department is generally responsible for this job, helping management understand workforce health trends and finding programs that are most effective in improving engagement and participation.
But sometimes the HR department is time or resource-strapped. In this case, shopping around for a managed 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 a program’s true ROI.
With end-to-end support, 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, ensuring that money spent on health-related campaigns is well spent.
Show rather than tell
In the process of gaining management buy-in for a workplace wellness program, one really good strategy is to suggest testing several programs on a smaller scale initially.
By organizing trial events or pilot programs, health companies can showcase how an event or program would appear once implemented, without requiring a significant investment.
This approach allows leadership to make an informed decision about whether to commit to the program on a long-term basis, as they gain firsthand insight into its potential outcomes.
Conducting a small-scale event provides an opportunity to gather feedback from employees and make necessary adjustments. By doing so, the likelihood of the program being well-received and embraced by workers increases, ultimately justifying the expense and helping to secure leadership buy-in at a later stage.
Once everyone has been convinced of the benefits and effectiveness of the proposed solution, expanding the program or organizing larger and more frequent events becomes easier, as there is confidence that leadership is fully on board with the initiative.
Making a case for workplace health
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.
However convincing decision-makers to invest in a workplace wellness program usually just requires a well-crafted pitch that shows the benefits, ROI, and addresses concerns. Management buy-in is much more likely to occur when data is presented emphasizing the positive impact on employee well-being and company performance.
Need some help convincing decision-makers?
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