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Don't make these 4 financial mistakes
When asking for resources for an occupational health initiative, you need to prepare a realistic program with solid goals and objectives; otherwise, you risk the program failing and your credibility diminished. Avoid these pitfalls:
• Miscalculating the specific resources you will need.
Money is just one thing you'll need to consider. Don't overlook administrative support, supplies, and the time employees will be away from the job. "Overstating your financial needs is just as detrimental as understating needs," says Catherine M. Pepler, RN, ASN, MBA, COHN-S/CM, FAAOHN, director of site operations at Take Care Health Systems in Conshohocken, PA. "It will have an impact on obtaining funds for the next program request."
You'll need supporting data to justify the resources you are asking for, says Pepler.
Later in the process, Pepler says to provide a written outcomes report showing the resource use and the outcomes achieved. "A summary of the program elements, aggregate data, and follow-up plans for the next steps should be included in this report," she says.
• Promising things that are unrealistic.
Be clear about what will have an impact on the bottom line for the company. "Will the results lead to a reduction in lost time and disability? Will the results reduce turnover? Will there be a gain in productivity? Be realistic on the expected outcomes and state that clearly," says Pepler. "Overstating the gains can lead to loss of credibility."
• Misleading others about when return on investment (ROI) realistically will come.
Most wellness programs have a delayed impact and should be considered as long-term investments in employees. "Companies may not realize that they won't see an ROI until after one year," says Eileen Lukes, PhD, RN, COHN-S, CCM, FAAOHN, health services manager for The Boeing Co.'s southern region, based in Mesa, AZ.
For this reason, when telling others about the gains the company will see, always remind them that some of the outcomes will be readily recognized, whereas others will require time to surface, says Pepler.
• Assuming that you know what employees want.
If you fail to obtain employee input about what they want and perceive as important, you will likely face lack of participation, which will result in a decreased ROI, warns Grace K. Paranzino, MS, RN, CHES, FAAOHN, national clinical manager for Kelly Healthcare Resources in Troy, MI. "You want to have support from the top and from those who will be involved in the program," she says.