By Liz Sheffield
If you’re considering implementing a wellness program for your company, it’s important to gain early and consistent support from the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and CFO (Chief Financial Officer) to ensure long-term success for your program. Executive leaders don’t just “sign the dotted line” to get a wellness program started, they’re also influential as champions of the program. You need to get their support to:
Motivational messaging from executives makes an enormous difference in engagement. Top-down reinforcement of wellness goals will give the program a greater chance of success.
What information to share
CEOs and CFOs want to see the rationale behind any program their organization offers to employees. They also require data and financial figures that support making a financial investment. When you're sharing information with the executive team, emphasize that in a leadership position, they’re not only able to improve the health of their workforce but can also have a positive impact on company culture, productivity, and the potential to recruit top talent.
Find data that illustrates the cost of an unhealthy workforce, highlights the competitive advantage a wellness program brings to talent acquisition, and demonstrates the positive impact wellness programs have on employee engagement.
These data points are a great place to start:
Don’t just share data as a way to gain executive buy-in; communicate how you’ll gather data once the program is launched to evaluate and demonstrate return on investment and value added to your employee population. As part of your program creation, make sure you find wellness providers that include easy-to-use tools that will help you track data and share insights about the positive impact your program has on your workforce.
How to get support
While numbers speak volumes to the executive team, make sure you augment the data with some narrative to support your case. You’ll want to engage with employees to let them share why wellness matters to them and how they would make use of the program. Gather employee input via online survey, focus group, or roundtable discussion with company leaders, and find out if your competitors are offering wellness options to their employees.
If you’re having trouble convincing the executive team, or if you want some insight that’s specific to your organization, consider launching a pilot program first. A pilot offering helps demonstrate the value while also reducing the initial financial investment required. Create a quick and easy program with select participants to gather feedback and determine what will work for your organization. A pilot can be an important first step to help you build and launch a successful program for all employees.
To save time and money, consider partnering with a software provider like MeYou Health that offers a turn-key option for small and midsize businesses. When cost-effectiveness, automation, and getting up and running quickly are the goals, software is often the solution. Find a digital wellness program that falls within your budget and use the software to implement and track the impact of your wellness program.
Once you convince your CEO and CFO that your organization needs a wellness program, the work has just begun! Spend the necessary time and energy developing a program that makes employees healthier and delivers results for the business. Use the executive team to motivate and inspire employees to participate, communicate about the program as often as possible, and ensure employee wellness remains a top priority for your business.