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Leadership/Manager Engagement

Why Employers Care

Leadership support of employee health and well-being is critical to creating a culture of health and achieving positive outcomes. Multiple studies show that employees' perception of leadership support and organizational commitment to health is associated with:

  • Greater participation in wellness activities,
  • Improved health outcomes and greater employee engagement, and
  • Retention.

Although most companies recognize the importance of senior leader support of health and wellness, the engagement of middle managers remains an untapped source of potential for many companies. In 2013, only 2% of companies were holding managers accountable for the health and well-being of employees.1 With more day-to-day contact with employees, middle managers can set the tone for their units and/or sites, and can also support or hinder the success of corporate health and wellness programs.

What Can Employers Do?

Employers can engage middle managers in a multitude of ways to gain their visible support of health and well-being programs. These strategies include:

  • Asking senior leaders and executives to inquire about health and well-being.
  • Sharing health and well-being metrics with site or business unit leaders.
  • Creating steering committees with leadership representation.
  • Training managers on the importance of employee health and well-being.
  • Building consistency through site-level certifications, awards or requirements.
  • Linking the manager's role in employee health to employee engagement scores.
  • Providing incentives based on wellness goals/measures.

References (show references)

1 National Business Group on Health/Towers Watson. 2013/2014 Staying@Work Survey: The Business Value of a Healthy Workforce.

Page last updated: September 29, 2015

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