There’s no question that having the support of your executives behind your well-being program is an important key to its success. Obtaining committed and aligned leadership can lead to more engaged employees – but isn’t always easy.
The Wellness Council of America lists executive level support as its number one benchmark in the guide to developing a results-based program. So, where do you begin your efforts in getting the executives at your organization to become champions of your well-being program? Here’s a quick look at some recommendations and best practices put in use by our most successful clients.
Start with the human element when communicating with executives.
To ensure senior level executives understand the importance and impact of the program, communication is key. When presenting important program data and insights to executives, don’t forget to include the human element. Relay the individual stories that you hear on a daily basis to illustrate how the program is actually changing the lives of your employees. Executives are people too. If they can relate to the well-being initiative through a personal connection to the impact it’s having, they have a greater chance of being an authentic champion of the program.
Get a seat at the table.
It’s important that your well-being program keeps a high profile. One way to make sure it stays visible is to obtain a regular spot on the agenda for regularly scheduled leadership meetings. Whether your organization schedules them on a monthly or quarterly cadence, seek opportunities to promote the program when leadership is discussing other current organizational initiatives.
It’s also critical to establish relationships with key executives to foster their connection to the well-being program. Have an intention to connect with each executive stakeholder to emphasize why the initiative is critical to the company. This is also a great opportunity for you to learn about their own personal well-being journey.
Make a connection between well-being and a company priority.
Executives are driven to further the company’s mission and values. Whether that’s through personal growth and development, customer service, or a family-first culture, identify a value to align your well-being program with. Once this is achieved, you can communicate with your executives using a common language.
For example, a utility company with employees wearing hard hats out in the field might put a high value on safety. The case here is simple – when employees have poor diets, are stressed out or suffer from lack of sleep, the odds of having a work-related injury go up. Because every aspect of the employees’ lives is tied to safety, the well-being program has total buy-in from the top down. The executives can clearly see how the well-being program is furthering the company initiative of being a safety-first culture.
Culture starts at the top and resonates throughout an organization. Without executive buy-in to well-being, it’s not authentically woven into your culture. Give your leadership team the tools it needs to be the champions of a successful well-being program that is truly improving the lives of your employees.