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Winning well-being programs start with a strong business case

July 22 2019 / by Mari Ryan

Over the course of my career, I’ve learned that starting strong can have a major impact on the success of your initiative. Building a solid business case for your project is essential. When it comes to implementing worksite well-being initiatives, putting in the time to demonstrate the benefits of your proposal up front, can pay off big time when it comes to getting buy-in from decision makers. Simply saying, “because it is the right thing to do,” won’t stand up to senior leadership scrutiny.

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But how do you build a convincing business case to justify the value of your workplace well-being program? Here are a few steps to consider.

Align with your organization’s vision
Successful worksite well-being initiatives don’t live in a silo. They are connected to the strategic initiatives of the organization. Make sure you understand the strategic direction of your organization and be able to articulate how a healthy, productive workforce supports achieving organizational objectives. Use your business case to clearly present the benefits of your well-being program and convince the right parties why it is a worthy investment for the organization.

Support your case with research
The field of worksite well-being has been around for over 40 years. There is a lot of research available to help support your business case so take advantage of it. I spoke with Bryan Noar of Self Help Works, who shared findings from a recently published report. Bryan stated, “we started a deep literature search, trying to specifically find studies that isolated the cost of different behaviors down to a per person, per adult individual level, rather than a national level.”

This type of up close and individual analysis will help you present the cost impact of behavior and chronic conditions in a meaningful way. For example, an employee survey shows that 46% of your workforce does not get enough sleep. The cost of lost productivity due to lack of sleep is approximately $2,000 per employee. For a workforce of 2,500, that translates to $2.3M per year in lost productivity. Add in claims costs for insomnia and these calculations build a compelling case for a program targeted to sleep.

Present a convincing assessment
The use of data can be a powerful component of your business case. Use relevant data to demonstrate how your well-being program can benefit both employees and the organization. Quantitative data can be gathered from surveys, claims experience or HR data, such as turnover, census and engagement surveys. Qualitative data comes from employee focus groups or executive interviews.

Do your homework and prepare a strong business case during the early stages of your project. When you clearly communicate the scope, timeline, costs and benefits of your workplace well-being initiative, you will position your initiative as a solution the organization can’t live without.

Topics: Worksite Wellness, Wellbeing, worksite wellbeing, workplace wellbeing, employee experience, hr, employee well-being, human resources, workplace wellness, business case

Mari Ryan

Written by Mari Ryan

Mari Ryan is the CEO/founder of AdvancingWellness and is a recognized expert in the field of workplace well-being strategy.