Senior Leadership Support and Sponsorship Organizational


Senior leaders, including chief department officers, vice presidents, and facility administrators serve a critical role in garnering support for frontline workforce development. This is true within organizations, across the broader healthcare industry, and in the workforce development field. When these decision-makers clearly articulate the value and priority of frontline workforce investments — and how they align with organizational priorities — other leaders and c-suite executives are more likely to embrace the strategies.


Whether your organization already has a senior leader who understands the importance of investing in frontline workers or is cultivating one who doesn’t yet fully grasp the value, a senior-level champion is a key component of a winning workforce development strategy.

Below are some tips to cultivate or strengthen senior leader support.

  • Build a profile. Knowing what motivates senior leaders will help you craft messages that address their biggest concerns. Get to know what makes them tick and use it to build your case.
  • Connect the dots. Help senior leaders understand the business case for frontline worker investment by connecting your workforce development strategy to organizational goals and priorities.
  • Communicate business impact. Demonstrate how frontline investments benefit your organization, such as reducing costs or improving patient experience. A ‘return on investment’ – or translation of measurable improvement in quality and productivity into financial impact – is often the most discussed, but there are multiple, less intensive ways to capture business impact. See resources for alternatives.
  • Use data. Numbers don’t lie, which makes them rather persuasive. Program metrics, community demographic data, and workforce analysis can bolster the business case. If your organization doesn’t have compelling numbers yet, look to case studies or reports from other healthcare employers to show leaders what is possible.
  • Make it personal. Employee stories that show how programs or policies have had a real impact on their lives and well-being are powerful. Invite leaders to graduation ceremonies, share evaluation surveys, capture personal stories on a smartphone – these are a few ways leaders can truly understand the impact of these investments.
  • Communicate successes. Keep leaders engaged by regularly sharing program successes. Consider different channels of communication and determine the best way to reach your leaders. It might be internal newsletters, emails, a public presentation, or even a phone call.
  • Have a plan. Be able to demonstrate that plans are viable based on structures and systems currently in place. Indicate what changes may be needed to grow the workforce initiatives and make them more effective.


Measuring Business Impact: Alternative Approaches, National Fund for Workforce Solutions

A table offering alternative methods to capture the impact of workforce interventions with varying levels of difficulty, cost, and strength of results.

Metrics for Measuring Impact of Workforce Development Investments, National Fund for Workforce Solutions

A grid of metrics to measure workforce availability, employee competency and advancement, employee engagement, community impact and health, patient experience, and quality and safety.

Impact and Value: Telling Your Program’s Story, Department of Health and Human Services

A workbook that helps health program administrators understand what a “success story” is, why it is important to tell success stories, and how to develop success stories.

Data Storytelling, Live Stories

Learn how to combine the heart (storytelling) and the head (data) in order to engage your audience effectively and maximize your impact.

9 Things Leaders Must Do to Create A Transformation, Supriya Desai, Forbes Magazine, Jan. 27, 2015.

Article that outlines factors for transformation success, including key criteria and questions.

Guide to Investing in Frontline Health Care Workers, CareerSTAT.

A Framework for Integrating Workforce Investments with Business Impact.

Making the Business Case for Employee Well-Being, Urban Institute, June 2019.

A brief from the Urban Institute that looks at building evidence to scale innovative well-being benefits at work.

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