Businesses, Invest in Your Community's Health
An increasing number of businesses realize that the health of the communities where they and their customers reside has a significant impact on their success. Better health in communities can mean happier, more productive employees and satisfied customers, which can ultimately lead to increased company growth and brand recognition.
Consequently, more businesses are working to positively influence community health. Our newly published report, “The ROI of Health and Well-Being: Business Investment in Healthier Communities,“ explores business motivations for making these socially responsible investments, the processes involved, and the key drivers of their success.
How Businesses Can Invest in Their Community's Health
Two essential elements greatly benefit business programs to further their goals in community health: partnerships and champions.
Partnerships with external organizations are key in influencing community health and successfully executing programs. Collaborators often bring added knowledge, funding, or other resources that enhance and accelerate a business’ community health efforts. The insurance company Higginbotham, for example, partners with Blue Zones Project® Fort Worth, equipping the community to make healthy choices easily accessible. And Ted's Shoe and Sport has joined with New Balance to bring new athletic shoes to second graders in the Keene, New Hampshire area.
To enable businesses of any size to participate in community health without the burden of running such programs, member-based business organizations in community health provide an attractive alternative. Examples of community health member-based business organizations include trade associations such as the Consumer Brands Association (formerly the Grocery Manufacturers Association) or local establishments like the Greater Philadelphia Business Coalition on Health or Wellness Council of Indiana.
Regardless of how a company’s community health program evolves or is executed, one critical aspect to its progress is to have champions—both internal and external. The dynamism of champions and the support of senior management are important to achieving the goals of community health initiatives. For small businesses in particular, having the CEO as a champion can play a greater role in the participation and fruition of small business community health programs.
There are myriad opportunities for involvement in community health no matter your business' service, size, or location. With drive, passion, and dedication, your business can proactively improve health in local communities, change lives for the better, and achieve a return on investment in the process.