It is essential to put together a robust business plan when exploring health and wellbeing initiatives, as Meesha Birch explains

cost of healthcare

How can you get senior executives to take notice of health and wellbeing? The key to the answer is through tangible results – and for health and wellbeing those results can be difficult to measure.

Getting buy-in from the leadership team can be tricky, especially when there’s a lot on and you are competing with other business departments.

Yet academic research is beginning to show that companies investing in health and wellbeing initiatives tend to outperform on the stock market over those businesses which are not.

Simplyhealth’s latest white paper breaks down how companies can put together a business case to invest in ways to achieve a healthy workforce. Putting together a robust business case can be hard. So here’s how you can do it.

The key is to set out your long-term goal and then break it down into manageable steps. When you approach it like this, anything is achievable. Start small. Gain momentum. Use your findings to support the next step in your plan.

Take opportunities to discuss your thoughts and ideas with colleagues around the business, raise your profile and get it further up the business agenda. This, coupled with your results and statistics from your first initiative will help your business, and your career.

There is a lot to consider when building a business case yet there are several measurable factors to help you start.

Some of the familiar challenges you face can include absenteeism, engagement and recruitment, at the very least.

Research by the CIPD shows that absenteeism is a costly issue and currently has an average cost of £554 per employee, per year. In addition to this, the annual report from the CBI in 2011 also found that engaged employees are taking 2.69 sick days on average, compared to unengaged employees.

You could also use retention rate. The CIPD’s 2015 annual report estimated that the direct and indirect costs are as follows: £4,800 for an employee, £7,000 for a manager.

Such figures have an effect on the bottom line.

Simplyhealth’s white paper demonstrates a six-step framework of how to put a business case together to address some of these issues.

It might mean starting off with the smaller things, testing and learning, getting results with which you can build your next business case.

Our paper provides tools on how to measure return on investment, through areas such as absence levels, which is relatively easy to attain if you have the right infrastructure is in place.

It also expands on other aspects that you can use to measure engagement and morale.

Following this process, the framework helps you as managers to structure and develop the business case as well as your strategy and enables you to measure its impact.

It works, no matter the size of the organisation; whether that’s an informal conversation with the managing director of a smaller business, or a more formal document followed by presentation to the board.

If health and wellbeing is on your agenda – whether physical, emotional or financial – then download the white paper here

1 (Source: Fabius R, Thayer RD, Konicki, 2013, The link between workforce health and safety and the health of the bottom line: tracking market performance of companies that nurture a culture of health).

2 CBI 2011