Gaining upper-level management support is vital to the success of a exercise program.
Whether or not the changes you’d like to make involve the work environment, overall policies or specific programs, successfully beginning your ideas depends on senior level management support.
Support from senior level management is critical for three reasons -
o You must have their agreement to involve staff members in a worksite program.
o When senior level management compensates attention to and supports an program, workforce also see the program as worthwhile.
o Management has the power to give work time and money to support the health promotion program.
It is crucial that you keep upper management involved throughout a exercise initiative, but at three points you will need support for -
o An overall concept, including a go-ahead to assess what employees want to do within the limitations of your workplace environment.
o A detailed plan (based on the assessment above) coupled with resources to carry out the plan.
o Evaluating the program to improve it along the way or to advocate for continuing or expanding the program.
Before approaching executive management to gain initial support for promoting exercise during the workday, research your options.
o Pull together a organization case obviously outlining how the organization will benefit by promoting exercise during the workday.
o List the individual, social and corporate benefits of exercise and the benefits of being active during the workday.
o Offer some general ideas about what the health promotion program might include.
Expect questions such as the following from executive management -
o Just how this help our business?
o Precisely how can we motivate staff members to participate?
o Precisely how much will it cost to run this wellness program or make this change?
o How are we going to know a year from now when this was a good use of time and resources?
Ask managers about the range of activities they’d support. Often managers have ideas of their own they’d like to see acted on to increase the worksite.
Do not forget to include middle managers when gaining support for your wellness program. They can be very helpful when you need volunteers to lead teams in corporate exercise challenges.