The Hard Sell of Wellness: Seeking Support from Leadership

Hard Sell Workplace Wellness

In our most recent Wellness Wednesday post, we discussed the significant impact that leadership can have towards the success of a workplace wellness program. While some organizations are lucky to have a wellness advocate amongst their executive team, many are not as fortunate.  Now that’s not to say that many leaders aren’t willing to support wellness, however, in the midst of many other priorities, wellness is often put on the backburner.

If you are looking to gain the support from your leadership team and push wellness to the forefront, here’s what you need to do:



Before you can gain the support from your leadership team, you first need to identify who it is you’re talking to. Although it may seem like everyone in Vancouver is a green-juice obsessed yoga fanatic, the reality is wellness is not a priority for everyone.  You may need to get creative in your approach.

Consider the central priorities of your leadership team.  What are they interested in? How could they benefit from a wellness program? Be sure to place emphasis on the key priorities that resonate with your own leaders. This might look like highlighting the financial benefits, increased levels of productivity, or the competitive advantage towards recruitment and retention.



We recommend you start by clearly communicating the “why” of your programming so that everyone on your team (not just leaders) can support your vision towards wellness.  If your leadership team isn’t ready to commit to a full-scale wellness program, start small and consider offering a pilot program first. A pilot program is great way to demonstrate the value of wellness, while reducing the initial financial investment as well as any hesitations that might arise during the early stages of your programming.

Similarly to us at Pivot HR Services, start off by offering “Wellness Wednesdays” by dedicating one day a week to wellness. Initiatives on this day could include: walking meetings, healthy office snacks or wellness lunch and learns.   

Find more tips and examples about starting small in this article.



Provide as much evidence as you can about the successes of workplace wellness programs. Its no surprise that leaders are driven by data; so let the numbers do the talking and illustrate the benefits that wellness can have in your workplace.  Be ready to present leaders with case studies and benchmark figures to add validity to your proposal. What wellness initiatives are seen to be most successful, and which are not? When you broaden the discussion and highlight results that other companies within your industry have seen, you’re much more likely to gain attention from your leadership team.

Here are a few of our favourite facts that you can share with your leaders:

  • 6 in 10 Canadians believe “their employer has some responsibility in ensuring their good health”. (Buffett National Wellness Survey)
  • 67% of employers reported wellness programs increased employee satisfaction (IFEBP)
  • 78% of businesses say employee wellbeing is a critical part of their business plans (Virgin Pulse)
  • 89% of employees at companies that support wellness efforts are more likely to recommend their company as a good place to work (American Psychological Association)



Leaders will be quick to join the bandwagon if they are confident that their team is onboard as well. Numbers can speak volumes, so confirm employee interest by engaging your team in focus groups and/or surveys. Then, share this data with company leaders.

When appropriate, invite a few of your employees to join in on the discussion and explain why wellness is important to them. Perhaps they suffer from an ongoing medical condition or have recently suffered from a heart attack. By making your discussions personal, leaders will more often have a sense of connection to your wellness efforts.  


For more insight into seeking support from leadership and to have your questions answered, drop us a line at  



Related Links:

What’s Your Wellness Weakest Link?

8 Easy Initiatives to Kickstart Your Workplace Wellness

Pivot HR Services: Culture Building & HR Strategy


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