Employee Wellness Program: Gaining Upper Management Support

Employee Wellness Program: Gaining Upper Management Support

Strong and visible leadership support for the Corporate Health Promotion Program encourages health and is essential to securing required Corporate Health Promotion Program resources (staff, time, and money) and implementing recommended changes.

1. Establish a Corporate Health Promotion Program champion

In a small company, there may be a single leader who is the clear choice to champion the Employee Wellness Program. In a larger company, look for an executive with the authority to sway others in the uppermost levels of the organization regarding the Employee Wellness Program. The Corporate Health Promotion Program champion need not be the fittest member of leadership. Rather, look for a Corporate Health Promotion Program leader with the disposition to be a visible and vocal supporter of workplace policies that encourage healthy behaviors. Organizations with multiple sites can consider whether it would be useful to have an executive Corporate Health Promotion Program champion at each site.

2. Find existing Corporate Health Promotion Program allies

There may already be a number of individuals within your company who recognize the value of a Employee Wellness Program. Think about who those individuals are in your company; consider areas such as occupational safety, union representatives, risk management, health officers, and human resources when looking for a Corporate Health Promotion Program ally. Obtain their stated support for the Employee Wellness Program. Corporate Health Promotion Program support could include contributions of staff time or expertise, financial resources, agreement to endorse/support policy and environmental changes, or agreement to participate in, and voice their support for, changes in the workplace that will help to build a culture of wellness.

3. Build a business case for the Corporate Health Promotion Program

There is a reason that more and more businesses are finding a way to promote the health of the employees via a Corporate Health Promotion Program and policies: A Corporate Health Promotion Program makes good business sense. staff members with healthy behaviors, on average, are more productive when at work (higher presenteeism)1 and incur lower health care costs than employees with less healthy behaviors.2,3 As a result it would be foolish not to have a Employee Wellness Program.

4. When developing a Corporate Health Promotion Program use what you know about leadership styles and the decision-making process within your company

Every company is different. Build leadership support for the Corporate Health Promotion Program in the way that makes the most sense for your company. Think about the following as you plan how to approach leadership for Corporate Health Promotion Program support:

• What are the current pressures and priorities facing executives? How could a Corporate Health Promotion Program and a healthier workforce support those priorities?
• How do the leaders prefer to receive data: written documents? verbal presentations?
• What kinds of Corporate Health Promotion Program information are likely to sway decisions? Do they want data and Corporate Health Promotion Program statistics specific to your company, or are state or national data sufficient? Are the leaders more influenced by internal factors or by what competitors are doing?
• Who would the leaders see as a credible messenger for this Corporate Health Promotion Program information? Does someone from the risk management area carry more clout than someone from the human resources area?
• How do decisions really get made in your company? Informal committee meetings? Formal or informal meetings between executives? Plan accordingly and you improve the odds that the Corporate Health Promotion Program will become a reality.

5. Maintain Corporate Health Promotion Program support once you have it

Once you have appropriate Corporate Health Promotion Program support, ensure that you maintain it by regularly updating the leaders on the health of the employees and progress toward beginning a culture that encourages health. Ask upper management how frequently they want to receive Corporate Health Promotion Program progress reports.

Source Information:
1 Bunn, JOEM, 2006, 48:10.
2 Foldes, Bland, An et al. Modifiable Health Risks and Short-Term Health Care Costs. BC/BS of Minnesota internal research, submitted for publication.
3 Anderson, 2000, American Journal of Health Promotion, 15:1.