Converting the CEO to the Cause of Workers’ Compensation


With employers addressing ObamaCare and rising health care costs, persuading the CEO to make safety and workers’ compensation priorities might be a challenge.Paul-Preaching

But you know workers’ compensation is also important and you need the CEO’s support. I explained this in last week’s blog, which you can find here.

Your goal is be an evangelist to convert your CEO to the cause of workers’ compensation. Evangelizers are passionate about what they believe. Therefore, you need to passionately believe that employing best practices are good for employees and the organization as a whole.

Why must CEOs be converted to the cause of workers’ compensation? Because it is not enough to get the CEO to express the best crafted messages in all the appropriate internal and eternal communication vehicles.

Unless the CEO is a believer too, all you will get is lip service. That’s bad because lip service kills employee credibility and trust. Your CEO might need reminding that he or she will look really good by showing care about workers.

Convincing the CEO to support safety and workers’ compensation often means building a business case. You want to address why the CEO should care when he or she is mired in endless electronic interruptions.

Get beyond workers’ compensation as
just an insurance cost or legal mandate.
Show it as the opportunity it could be.


To do so, try discussing workers’ compensation from a new perspective. Get beyond workers’ compensation as just an insurance cost or legal mandate. Show it as the opportunity it could be. Like other benefits, workers’ compensation can be used to show that the organization is concerned for their employee’s welfare. Effective workers’ compensation programs also address absenteeism.

Another way is to discuss workers’ compensation as a litmus test for employee satisfaction and morale. This is based on the idea that if there are troubles with workers’ compensation, chances are there are also problems with other human resources issues including high turnover or equal employment opportunity, sexual harassment or Americans with Disabilities Act complaints.

When CEOs understand that workers’ compensation is part of the systemic whole  — and not just another cost of business expense  — they should see more reason to act.

As for building a business case, demonstrate the costs and lost opportunities due to unsafe workplaces, claim filing lag time, poor medical care and lack of return-to-work opportunities. The direct costs can be compelling enough, but indirect costs – including training productivity and opportunity costs — up the ante of the true expense of employee absence.

You can get average percentage guesstimates of these costs from organizations including the Workers’ Compensation Research Institute (WCRI), the National Council of Compensation Insurance, Inc., and the Integrated Benefits Institute (IBI). Become a member of WCRI or IBI and find even more data – and yes, tell them I sent you!

Another approach is to profile three types of “average workers,” explaining the costs of hiring, training, productivity and other value such employees brings to the organization.

Don’t forget to point out how assuring best practices for workers’ compensation does more than encourage employee morale. These practices also support the organization’s corporate culture and doctrine of excellence, which are of course reflected in the organization’s business plan, mission and vision statements, company philosophy, strategic plan and any other corporate documentation.

And finally, do not give up. Spend time trying to change the culture as much as you can. Discuss your points whenever you get the chance from the water cooler to the boardroom.

If you have other suggestions for making the business case for workers’ compensation or other organizations where employers can find data, please comment below. Thanks!

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