Employees the world over are waking up to the advantages of corporate wellness and staying fit—body and mind—in the workplace, but they have been slow to catch on. A successful health programme starts with a commitment from company leaders. Its continued success depends on ongoing support at all levels of the organisation. It’s vital to get bosses on board.
If you’re putting forward the idea of a corporate wellness programme to your employer, they might just take a little convincing. Here are some tips on how to convince your boss to implement a corporate wellness programme in your office.
Connect with empathy
Your starting point should be to convince your boss there is a need for a corporate wellness programme in your office. That doesn’t mean you should go in complaining that everyone in the office has been feeling down, and that you’ve all banded together as a protest mob determined to overthrow management—you’ll probably find an approach like that has the opposite effect.
It is, however, necessary to show you’re acting in the interests of others, and not just yourself; it can be useful to lead with a comment along the lines of “there’s some support from colleagues to increase awareness of and promote employee wellness within the office…”. You might like to give some info on the health hazards associated with working in an office that doesn’t support employees’ wellness.
You’ll also need to think about it from their perspective: they’ll likely be worrying about the costs incurred and effort involved in setting up such a programme, but remember, they have much to gain from a corporate wellness programme too. Wellness programs promote better morale, willingness to go above and beyond, and overall performance, all of which play a role in increased productivity. Because bosses like to see numbers, you can lead with a few statistics:
- A Quantum Workplace study revealed that when employees felt that their employer cared about their wellness, they were 38% more engaged at work and 18% more likely to go above and beyond.
- Millennials are among the generation of workers who seek a favourable corporate culture over perks, which means younger talent is more attracted to a company that invests in their personal development and wellbeing.
- Across all generations, wellness perks can also improve rates of employee retention, and reduces the rate of employee absence due to illness.
Offer an objective solution
Once you’ve got them hooked, you need to make your idea actionable, which means it’s vital to communicate what the programme comprises and how to get involved. You should also explain exactly what you mean by corporate wellness. The term has become something of a buzzword, and owing to its rapid rise, there is still some confusion as to what exactly falls under its banner.
Corporate wellness isn’t all about investing in expensive gym memberships for employees. Pro coach Jon Denoris has developed the Pop Up Gym, an innovative wellness programme to take place in the workplace that provides a cost-effective corporate wellness solution that doesn’t involve purchasing expensive equipment. Other options include working a corporate wellness into your existing company structure, whether by means of HR or social perks.
Your proposition should also include a plan going forward. Perhaps you’ve researched programme offerings in your local area, or have an idea of what kind of corporate wellness activity you think would work well. Put yourself forward as taking some responsibility for the programme, whether you’re happy to be the project leader, or simply able to ring around for some quotes. An employer is more inclined to agree to something that requires little effort on their part.
Establish measureable outcomes
Outline how to measure the effectiveness of such a programme—bosses, after all, are all about return on investment. It’s simple to obtain data and metrics from wellness programmes, especially if you track progress in a wellness portal or using wearable tech like Fitbits. This works as an added incentive for employees to participate, especially if you are able to work an element of competition into your wellness activities
This also makes great content to publish to your website and social channels to attract interest from wellness-minded investors, clients and partners. It’s especially important for businesses these days to prove they are environmentally and socially responsible, given that consumers prefer to engage with businesses and brands that demonstrate good social responsibility.
Above all, your passion for a corporate wellness project is more persuasive than any other statistic or data when it comes to convincing your employer of the need to implement a programme. If you can show you’re clued up and aware of how such a programme would work, throwing your weight behind the idea is the last piece of the puzzle when it comes to making your case for corporate wellness.