Well Leaders: Involving the Right People
Written by Toni Sperlbaum
When a company implements a wellness program, many program administrators are very used to hearing that the promotion and support for this program needs to come from the top down in order for it to be successful. While this is true, it’s not the entire story. Each culture and logistics of the company has a role in how this plays out, but who could be more important than your CEO, CFO, HR team, and other key executives? Middle Management.
If your CEO sends a letter home to employees encouraging their participation, their message is in your newsletter and on a flyer in the break room, that’s great. But how much time do your employees actually spend with the CEO? What is their level of trust of your CEO (another topic out of my expertise!)? While in a perfect corporate world, the answers here would be “a lot of time!” and “a lot of trust!”, it’s just not reality. Employees are spending a majority of their time in their own departments with their direct supervisors. If those middle managers are not buying in to the program, neither will their employees!
We encourage you to host separate meetings with your management team, even one-on-one perhaps, to get their buy in and almost most importantly, their commitment to participating themselves. Setting the example is half of the message! Consider running special challenges or programs just for them. Highlighting in a newsletter “Healthy Leaders” and showing what they have accomplished, or the results of your WellLeader Challenge. Communication is also huge. In many companies, the main route of communicating all of the fantastic programs you have going simply aren’t reaching all employees. Your middle managers are the key.