From the Blog:

What executive sponsorship looks like for an employee engagement program

It goes without saying that when executives get behind something, people get on board. Whether that’s a charitable cause or top-down messaging about changes within the company, your leaders have the power to shift culture and start movements.

Yes, even when it comes to your wellness program.

Here at Limeade, our customers who engage execs in wellness have seen their programs go gangbusters. Employees love the accessibility to C-Suiters, hearing their stories and participating in activities alongside them. It not only builds a culture of health, but it also eliminates any “us vs. them” suspicions employees may have.

What Executive Sponsorship Looks Like:

  • Share and Tell. Words have power, especially when they’re used to share struggles, vulnerabilities and success. Tap your executives – and particularly your CEO – to share their own lifelong wellness journeys, either at a company meeting or in a series of video vignettes. Executives can have an untouchable quality, but hearing about their human struggles – maybe with weight, illness or commitment to fitness – and how they’ve overcome them is a great motivator for employees. Limeade customer Puget Sound Blood Center has seen great success with their wellness program, which kicked off with President & CEO James P. AuBuchon, M.D. sharing his personal experience.

  • CEO Events. When the very top of your org chart walks the walk, the impact is incredible. Ask your CEO to sponsor a company-wide wellness event to kick off your program. At Limeade, we kicked off our program on employee health and fitness day, celebrating with healthy breakfast smoothies and fun events all day – like lunch walks, scooter races, mini meditation sessions and more.

  • C-Suite Challenges. Capitalize on what your leaders are great at doing: leading! Make them your star wellness champions by asking each of them to sponsor a quarterly challenge around something they’re passionate about – like fitness, nutrition, getting good zzzz’s, even meditation. The more personal the challenge topic, the more meaningful it will be for both leaders and employees. Puget Sound Blood Center employees loved taking part in the “12,000 Steps with Jose” challenge with Chief Scientific Officer Jose Lopez, as well as “Eat Locally with Sally,” with Chief Employee and Community Relations Officer Sally Sullivan.

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What Executive Sponsorship Does:

At Puget Sound Blood Center, turning executives into wellness champions got their entire workforce on board and helped their program exceed both expectations and goals over the past four years. Some highlights:

  • 147% increase in program participation (gotta love that!)

  • Improved blood pressure systolic, triglycerides, and glucose levels over two years

  • 15% decrease in sick days taken, which increased productive work time by thousands of hours

Your leaders can truly lead the way to well-being. Let them know you – and your employees – need them, then bring them on board to take the reins in their own way. We think you’ll like the results – and everyone will love the experience.