Well, that depends on your starting point and your corporate culture. When sharing information with corporate leaders, the language and examples you use should relate to your organization’s position relative to the business case development continuum. But there are universal strategies to include when making your case for investing in community health.
Metrics/Measurement: Identify the starting point and how you will measure progress.
Include metrics that show the current health of employees and the health of communities where you have a footprint. Identify which metrics may need to be developed. Consider analyzing data from current wellness or health-related initiatives that show positive results, and include those ‘best practices’ to strengthen the business case.
Return on Investment: Speak the language of investment and profit.
Consider how the CFO will evaluate the business case proposal. Include not only medical costs, but the indirect costs of absenteeism, presenteeism and disability, and cite those credible resources (Partnership for Prevention, 2013).
Describe how investing in community health can lead to greater profit and business sustainability (i.e., healthier talent pool, better employee retention rates, improved reputation) and in the long-term, mitigate costs related to spouse and dependent benefits. Focus on potential drivers that relate specifically to your organization’s values and vision.
Clear Communication: Keep the message concise and customized.
Use simple, clear and consistent messaging that’s tailored to your company size, level of readiness, and value proposition. Include impactful stories and best practice case studies that relate most closely to your current situation and goals, so that potential benefits will resonate with leadership.