May 25, 2022

How to Generate Leadership Buy-In For Your Employee Wellness Program

Employee meeting at conference table

There is a strong connection between a company's success and employee wellness. When your employees are happy and healthy (inside and outside of the workplace), they will be more engaged and productive. 

HR staff know that employee wellness is vital to a productive and loyal cohort of staff and they recognize that wellness programs are an effective way to keep employees happy and minimize absenteeism and illness. But it’s not just HR staff that need to be on board with an employee wellness program; leaders do, too.

Improved employee health and wellbeing are a company-wide mission that all senior level staff must work towards. Ensure that your employee wellness program is implemented effectively and is the best it can be by cultivating leadership buy-in. To help your leadership team understand the importance of an employee wellness program, and the essential role they play in its success, here are three top reasons why every company needs a leader-backed wellness program.

Return On Investment 

For leaders to get on board with employee wellness programs, they must see a return on investment (ROI).  They need to know that their investment is a strategic one with measurable outcomes.

Illness-related costs caused by reduced productivity cost employers around $530 billion a year.  Studies show that when the leaders in a company actively demonstrate their interests and passions for employee wellness, the company has better improvements in employee health and reduced illness and associated medical costs. 

For example, according to Gartner’s 2020 ReimagineHR Employee Survey1, employers that support employees with their life experience benefit from:

  • 23% increase in the number of employees reporting better mental health.
  • 17% increase in the number of employees reporting better physical health.
  • 21% increase in the number of high performers compared to organizations that don’t provide the same degree of support to their employees.

Improved Company Culture

Hiring and retention are at the forefront of HR’s mind.  It costs employers an average of 50-60% of a worker’s annual salary to hire a replacement. For an employee earning a salary of $45,000 a year, that is an additional cost of $22,000 for a company.  High-turnover isn't just costly, it erodes company culture and can negatively impact customer relationships and sales.  

Employees are actively looking for companies that share the same values.  According to a study published in the American Journal of Health Promotion, “Employees reporting higher levels of leadership support for health promotion also reported higher levels of wellness activity participation, lower job stress, and greater levels of health behavior.”2  Yet, less than half of US employees think that their employers care about their health. 

By providing the benefits employees are looking for, and by showing support through the  promotion of and participation in wellness activities, senior leaders can play an important role in cultivating a strong, positive and healthy work culture.

Greater Program Participation

It’s clear that employee wellness is central to a successful and productive workplace. To maximize success, company leaders must show that they are also actively taking part in wellness initiatives.  

Companies with senior leaders who participate in and enable wellbeing see 34% higher engagement in wellness programming. What’s more, managers who get involved in wellness not only get healthier themselves but also have teams who are 15% healthier.

Healthy employees take fewer sick days, are more productive and are positive contributors to your company’s culture. At Sprout, our platform features are designed using the COM-B model to educate, engage and inspire your employees to embrace healthy behaviors. That’s why, on average, our users take 27% more steps each month and enjoy a 25% risk reduction in cardiovascular disease and a 52% risk reduction in type 2 diabetes, compared to North Americans of the same age and gender.

Ready to invest in a holistic wellbeing solution to see happier and more productive employees?  Book your discovery call today to see how Sprout At Work can move the wellness needle in your organization.


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  1. Kropp, Brian. “9 Worktrends That HR Leaders Can’t Ignore in 2021.” Gartner. . January 21, 2021
  2. Hambrick, Marian, Ann M. Herd and Jennifer Hoert. “The Role of Leadership Support for Health Promotion in Employee Wellness Program Participation, Perceived Job Stress, and Health Behaviors”, December 5, 2016, American Journal of Health Promotion.
Topic(s): Sprout At Work , Featured

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