How to get leadership buy-in for corporate wellbeing

16 August 2021


But what about the balance? The research indicated that obstacles still remain for Human Resource teams when it comes to implementing a wellbeing strategy in the workplace. The top barrier according to one third of participants is achieving buy-in from senior leadership followed by budget and time pressure. 

As a HR leader in your business, are you struggling to get management buy-in for corporate wellbeing? 

Now you know you are not alone, let's focus on the steps you can take to successfully share your idea and achieve the leadership buy-in needed to reach wellbeing goals:

Aligning to company goals is key to successfully achieving senior leadership buy-in to any initiative. Corporate wellbeing is no different. Start by researching your business goals for this year. Once you have a list of them, see how the planned wellbeing initiatives might play a part in achieving the results. 

This is going to be unique to your company, but it is not too difficult to find verified research and case studies linking corporate wellbeing to measurable business KPIs. 

Is one of your business goals to increase productivity? A study by LSC centre for economic performance showed a strong correlation between employee productivity and business performance.  Do your senior leaders want to reduce staff turnover? Improving employee wellbeing has been linked to employees staying with a company for longer. 

No matter the business goal, there is likely to be a form of wellbeing that will have a positive impact. It is just a matter of finding the corresponding elements and tailoring them to your business requirements. Investing in employee health and wellbeing can positively impact every element of your business, from employee engagement right down to the bottom line.

Once you know how your wellbeing initiative is going to help the business reach its wider goals, the next step is to find a wellbeing champion. A wellbeing champion should be someone within the business who has credibility and approves of health initiatives. 

As you are reading this, you may be thinking about an ideal person within your business. If you are, that’s fantastic, reach out to them and arrange a meeting. If not, you may need to reach out to members of the leadership team and pitch your concept to them. Through this process you may identify someone with an interest or passion for wellbeing that you were not aware of. 

During your meeting with your wellbeing champion, ask them to critique your idea. Some useful questions to ask include:

  • What changes could I make so the proposition is more attractive to senior management/the board of directors?
  • What difficulties do you think I may encounter?
  • What can I do so you feel comfortable helping to make a case for corporate wellbeing?
  • Do you have any advice to offer?

This meeting is likely to provide you with the information you need in advance of presenting to the wider senior leadership team.

Once you have finessed your concept, build a clear and concise presentation that clearly aligns wider business goals with workplace health and wellbeing. Then it is time to present it to key stakeholders. While you are presenting, stop frequently to ask questions to ensure your audience is engaged and understand the concept.
Undoubtedly there is going to be feedback on your proposal. They are going to vary depending on your industry, the size of your company and your immediate business goals. Even if the answer to some elements of your wellbeing plan is no, ask if there is a way you can change your plan so leadership may be in a position to support it.

If there is not enough budget or time to action all of the initiatives you believe your business needs. Try to negotiate for the most important elements. 

Has your business been under particular strain during the pandemic? Could you negotiate an employee assistance programme? If in person counselling is too expensive, are management open to allowing employees access support over the phone or digitally.  

Once you have agreed on what is possible. Set SMART Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) so you can measure the success of your employee wellbeing initiatives. This data will help you show the impact the wellbeing initiative is having on your business. 

Report results regularly. If your wellbeing initiatives are having the desired effect, results may help you to convince management to invest even further into the mental and physical health of employees.   


There is no doubt that investing in corporate wellbeing should be viewed as a core, strategic way to strengthen a company. By taking a data-based approach and tailoring the potential benefits to your business’ wider goals it should make achieving buy-in from wider management much easier.

If your business has employees working in expat roles overseas, they may require more wellbeing support than most, particularly during these challenging times. All international health insurance plans from Allianz Care also provide access to our expat assistance programme. Your expat employees can speak to a professional counsellor with specialisms in a range of areas from financial planning to mental health to future planning so no matter what issue they are facing while away from home, they can access the support they need.