A successful well-being program often depends on leadership support. No matter how dedicated you are to your well-being program, you can only get so far without help from HR leaders, executives and other decision-makers at your organization.
The more supportive your leadership is, the more your company will benefit, too. Organizations with very supportive leadership are two and a half times more likely to report a substantial improvement in medical cost trends.1 Not to mention, they’re nearly four times more likely to report a substantial improvement in employee health risks compared to organizations with minimally supportive leadership.
But that’s not all! Whether you’re looking to gain leadership buy-in or encourage your leaders to become more involved in your well-being program, there’s no limit to what your program can achieve when your entire organization is onboard with well-being.
Start a wave of well-being at your organization.
The impact leaders can have on workplace well-being can be profound. They’re in a position to utilize policies, programs, resources and best practices that can help establish a thriving well-being culture and encourage better health for your entire organization.2
By putting policies in place that demonstrate they care about the health of their employees, they can start a wave of well-being at your organization. One that can ripple throughout and deliver a range of positive outcomes, including:
- Higher program participation
- Healthier body weights
- Lower absenteeism
Overcome barriers and get leadership buy-in.
Getting leadership buy-in can be a tricky task. While most organizational leaders want to improve the health of their employees and reduce their company’s health insurance costs, they often have competing priorities and workplace well-being can fall to the side. But, with a carefully planned approach, you can greatly improve your chances of getting your leaders onboard.
To help you get buy-in, I’ve listed five strategies that can help you convince the leaders at your organization that well-being should be a top priority.
1. Present the business case.
At the end of the day, leadership needs to understand that well-being programs can help impact their company’s bottom line and control costs. To capture their attention, develop a strong business case that drives this point home.
2. Build an emotional connection.
Once you have your leadership’s attention, appeal to their emotional side. Share examples of success stories from other organizations, talk about the impact well-being programs can have on individuals and present any other information that will connect with them on a personal level.
3. Identify and recruit an executive champion.
It helps to have friends in high places. To find an executive champion, identify a leader who has a strong personal connection to well-being. Once they agree to take the role, set expectations with them about the type of support and time commitment you will need from them to help make the program a success.
4. Gather feedback and align goals.
Once you get buy-in, make sure your leadership gets what they want from your well-being program. To make sure they’re satisfied, hand out surveys to gather information about what’s important to them and then make adjustments to your program as needed.
5. Formalize a well-being program review.
It’s important to keep your leadership engaged in your well-being program. To help keep them involved throughout the year, hold formal presentations to review the program, demonstrate the program’s ROI and share success stories.
Realize the benefits of leadership buy-in.
Working closely with leadership is crucial to building and sustaining a culture of well-being. Senior leaders and managers have the power to achieve buy-in and support from other levels of the organization, dedicate the necessary resources to the effort and create an environment where employees are empowered to take control of their health.
As you seek buy-in from leadership at your organization, remember to follow the five principles outlined above and reinforce how a healthy workforce can help improve the bottom line of any business.