It can be hard to secure C-Suite leadership buy-in for investments in comprehensive wellbeing strategies that transform company culture. Recognising this, Ngozi Weller and Obehi Alofoje – wellbeing consultants specialising in workplace mental health – have put together their three essential tips for pitching to a senior leadership team.
1. Know your numbers
The figures are on your side. Wellbeing support makes good business sense. Don’t go into a meeting with your senior leadership team to only make the moral argument; rely on the numbers. Numbers don’t lie. Refer to the ROIs and demonstrate that investing in wellbeing is financially sound.
On top of this, ensure you know the numbers for your organisation. How much is your company losing in absences per year? How many hours of HR’s time are going towards issues that a well-trained line manager could deal with? Use your grounded experience to flesh out the theoretical numbers, and demonstrate to the C-Suite leaders that your company is no exception to the rule.
2. Pitch solutions, not problems
Whilst it’s important to use the numbers to demonstrate the issue, the focus of the meeting should be the solution. Go in knowing the action you want to take, the results you expect to gain, and the resources you need to execute this.
ACTION: What are you asking your company to do? Are you asking for more training? If so, who do you want to train? Be specific.
RESULT: What results do you expect to gain? What do you think the impact of the training will be? How long will it take? If you can, tie this back to the numbers.
COST: How much will it cost? Which providers are you considering using? We’d recommend presenting the investment as broken down per head.
If your wellbeing strategy has several tiers, ensure you include this too. Make sure your senior leadership team understands the bigger picture, even if at this stage, you’re only asking them to fund the first step.
3. Don’t try and do it all by yourself
HR leaders are not experts in wellbeing strategy. If you are an HR leader, despite the pressures you may feel, it isn’t your job to know the ins and outs of mental wellbeing. Don’t be afraid to bring in support.
Consult with experts. Internal if you have them, external if you don’t. Let these professionals help you devise a wellbeing strategy that works for you and your company. Let them help you with your plan so that when you approach your senior leadership team, you have a comprehensive and effective strategy to pitch.
Does your organisation need to dial up its wellbeing strategy?
Beyond these tips, there are certain questions that you can reflect on to ascertain whether your company needs to dial up its wellbeing strategy:
1. How often are people using your EAPs? Is the system being utilised in line with the current stats on mental ill-health?
2. When people go off sick, is there a system to record why? Can mental health sick days be clearly identified? If yes, are there differentials for stress, burnout etc. Or is mental health listed under a single category?
A version of this article first appeared on the Aurora Wellness blog here.
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And if you are struggling to work out what to measure and how to measure both need and impact, check out Elizabeth Hampson from Deloitte’s presentation in this webinar: