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Company Buy-in: How to Drive a Successful Well-being Program


*See this blog on Nudjed too – a company helping to deliver ROI for well-being.*

Many options are available for companies that are looking to improve performance and decrease absence in the workplace through well-being programs.

Ultimately, the results of these programs will dictate not just their success, but how viable they will be to run in the future.

There are two key areas that will dictate the success of your campaign:

  • Board level buy-in
  • Whole business buy-in

To get both the board and the company to buy-in to your program are two completely separate challenges. This blog will explore how you need to approach both challenges in a different way, and demonstrate what you need to drive a successful well-being program.

Board Level Buy-in

One of the challenges involved in the successful implementation of well-being programs is around getting board level buy-in. This can prove difficult unless you have effective evaluation methods in place to demonstrate a clear ROI.

So how exactly does one get board level buy-in?

The key to getting the board to buy in to your well-being program is to make a clear and concise business case based on facts and figures that will demonstrate the return that the business is likely to receive from its investment.

While it can be tempting to look at softer metrics such as employee happiness, it’s only by truly understanding the cost and productivity benefits in cold pounds and pence that you will be able to convince the board of the viability of a well-being program.

Demonstrate a Strong ROI

Delivering an ROI value you can take back to the board as an effective evaluation of a well-being program gives HR managers and team leaders a valuable tool in proving the worth of the investment. It’s a crucial step therefore in getting the board to buy-in.

In support of this an excerpt from the CIPD report: Growing the health and well-being agenda: From first steps to full potentialis below.

“Although the core premise for investing in employee well-being is universal, how we craft and communicate the ‘business case’ for employers to take action on health and well-being needs to be organisation-specific. This requires a more sophisticated and nuanced perspective which takes into account your organisation’s current perspective and stakeholder priorities. Fostering good health and well-being across the workforce simply makes good business sense.”

Additionally in our eGuide summarising what we felt were the top ten takeaways from the report, we included the below on evaluation which is the first step in measuring ROI:

Evaluation matters. Too few well-being programs are evaluated to deliver an ROI value HR can take back to the board. With regard to what to evaluate, the report states (citation on page 19) that: “Evaluation methods should capture critical aspects of participation as well as measuring both short- and long-term strategic aims of the wellness programme”. Evaluation is key, and you need to evaluate your well-being program to get the most out of it.”

Understanding how to deliver a positive ROI is the key to getting board level buy-in.

Delivering Results – Business Level Buy-in

In order to drive a positive ROI and get management on board with your well-being program, you’ll have to get the rest of the company to react positively to any changes that you’re looking to implement. This is the key to driving the results of your program and ultimately what will deliver a positive ROI.

“To drive organisational well-being, the whole business needs to buy in. The workplace environment is in itself, a key part of promoting well-being and providing self worth. By enjoying our work, the report states that we take roughly half the time off work sick that we would otherwise (citation on page 14). Well-being and employee engagement are mutually enforcing, and for success to be reached, the whole business needs to buy into health & well-being as a concept.”

In addition, the supporting CIPD document itself says:

“The CIPD believes that to truly achieve a healthy workplace an employer needs to ensure that its culture, leadership and people management are the bedrock on which to build a fully integrated well-being approach. Well-being initiatives that are introduced in isolation are likely to be met with cynicism by employees, dropped when budgets are tight and never seen as more than an add-on gesture if these firm foundations are not in place.”

To generate the results that will drive ROI, the whole business needs to be on board with your well-being program.

In conclusion, driving the success of any well-being program centres around two key areas:

  1. Board level buy-in – understand the impact to the business of your well-being program and demonstrate how it will make a return on investment.
  2. Business level buy-in – present your well-being program to the company in a way that shows you are looking out for them. Look to remove scepticism and get the business excited about your initiative to drive the results that will generate your ROI.

How to Get Started

When it comes to deciding on which well-being program to choose for your organisation, as ROI is so often a factor, this makes sense as a good starting point. To this end there is ample evidence as to the ROI of choosing occupational physiotherapy to reduce organisational absence and increase well-being. And to get you started, BIA UK has created a bespoke ROI calculator you can access here to estimate the ROI value of our service to your organisation.

Additionally, we have compiled approximate ROI values of other programs in our eGuide: How to Reduce the Effect of MSDs on Your Absenteeism Rates – download it here.


  • Two levels of buy-in are required to make your well-being program work
  • Learn to speak the language of the board and demonstrate the facts and figures that will show how your program will benefit the company
  • Get the wider business excited about the personal benefits that your well-being program will bring to individuals within the business, and get the wider buy-in that will drive results.

CIPD eGuide PreviewYou can also download our free eGuide that summarises what we feel are the top 10 takeaways from the recent CIPD report, “Growing the health and well-being agenda: From first steps to full potential”.

Download your copy here.