Read time:  2 minutes 47 seconds

Once upon a time there was a great leader.

She worked in the mystical realm of people, which was the hardest of all the jobs.

She did recruitment and onboarding, training and development, payroll and processing.

She provided benefits where possible and discipline where necessary.

She supported everyone in the organisation, from the loftiest director to the humblest data processor.

She was, for all intents and purposes, a wizard with many colourful hats to wear.

She was beloved (most of the time) by all and sundry and all she wanted was the best for all the people in her care.

To wit, she decided to introduce a program to support the health and wellbeing of all the people in the land.

She wanted all of them to be healthy and happy and able to bring their best selves to bear each day.

So she put together a wonderful proposal and presented it to the high council, to which they replied, ‘Why should we do this?’

Not expecting this question, she responded, ‘because it’s the right thing to do’.

The council looked at each other and burst out laughing.

‘The right thing to do?’

They scoffed.

‘You’ll have to come up with something better than that’.

So Tabitha (that was her name all along, Tabitha), slumped from the room and went back to her desk, disheartened,

But she soon found her resolve and said to herself, ‘They want a reason? I’ll give them 10?’

And she got to work on a new proposal. One that would make sense to the members of the council.

When she returned the following week she was ready to go, and this time she dazzled them.

She showed them how much money they were losing in people getting sick and injured and not wanting to stay at the company anymore.

She showed them how much they could save with just a small reduction in any of these numbers.

She told them how much they were paying in insurance and how her program could reduce that cost significantly.

She described what their direct competitors were doing to help their employees and how their own company was falling behind.

She outlined their current EVP and how a program of this nature could make it a far more attractive proposition for potential new talent.

She stated that their search for investors could be buoyed by outlining this program in their ESG policy.

She explained people who are healthy and well work harder, produce higher quality work, and burn out far less often than those who are not.

She ran through the survey findings from the staff that clearly stated they all wanted a program like this.

She showed how the objectives of her program aligned with the current business objectives of the company.

She explained how each one of them would personally benefit from getting involved in the program and how it would bolster their status in the eyes of their people (not to mention their own health and wellbeing).

And she finished by reiterating that looking after the people in our care is the right thing to do, and that companies who do look after their people get looked after by their people.

The council sat there stunned.

Here they had asked for one good reason and she had given them 10, and they suspected she had even more up her sleeve as well.

‘Ok, that sounds good.’ they said.

‘Now how much is this going to cost us?’

To which Tabitha replied, ‘Less than it costs you to turn over one employee’.

‘For the entire organisation?’ they asked, incredulous.

“For the whole damn place.’ Tabitha replied.

‘But, but how can that be? How could we have not noticed this before?’ they collectively spluttered.

‘Because most of these costs don’t appear on anyone’s balance sheet.’ Tabitha countered.

‘These are bleed costs and as long as nobody is responsible for them, they’ll never be addressed and the company will keep bleeding.’

Now emboldened, Tabitha continued, ‘The cost of a health and wellbeing program is comparatively minute but it’s a black and white figure that has to be budgeted for, which scares most people off.

When someone is responsible then someone can be made accountable for the success or failure of these types of programs.’

Now on absolute fire, Tabitha struck the final blow, ‘Give me the budget, the responsibility, and your commitment and support and I’ll give you something you’ve never seen before.’

The council were won over, because for all their previous short-sightedness they had been shown the way, and they now felt compelled to act.

So Tabitha got her budget and she got her buy-in and created the greatest health and wellbeing program the industry had ever seen, and they all lived better, happier and more productive lives than before.

The end.

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Is it better to bleed a lot and never find out or be made aware so you can stop it?

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