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Effective Outreach with Businesses
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  1. Effective Outreach with Businesses

  2. Sneak Preview – Section 4 • Learning objective: Describe at least two motivators of employers and two barriers to implementing a worksite lactation program. • Topics: How to present the business case to employers • Handouts: • Handout B – “Press Release” • Handout C – “Company Profile” • Handout D – “Role Play Scenarios” • Resources from The Business Case for Breastfeeding: • Folder #5: “Outreach Marketing Guide”

  3. Video Exercise

  4. Exchange Theory in Action Barriers Motivators

  5. The Bottom Line: What Motivates Employers • For employers, the “right” thing to do is to maintain a healthy bottom line (ROI)

  6. Investing in Proven Programs • Successful program models can help employers feel confident considering lactation support. • Options for finding similar companies: • “Employer Snapshots” • State breastfeeding coalitions (Washington, Texas, Oregon, Rhode Island, San Diego, Vermont) • Working Mother magazine’s list of family-friendly businesses

  7. Employer Recognition Programs • Reward Program Options: • Establish general criteria and recognize ALL businesses that meet the criteria. (Examples: Oregon, Texas, Mississippi) • Establish a tiered level of support based on a “good/better/best” model. (Example: Vermont) • Recognize a single business each year that is the most outstanding program (Examples: Washington, San Diego) • Recognize businesses that not only support employees, but also provide a supportive environment for consumers • Options for nominations (by the business, consumers, coalition, or other healthcare community groups) • Options for making awards

  8. The Power of Legislation 21 U.S. States plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico have legislation related to working and breastfeeding

  9. Year 1 Lessons Learned • Oregon legislation raised concerns about realistic compliance among public service and emergency workers • Oregon Breastfeeding Coalition took quick action to become part of the team addressing the concerns • Mississippi – child care legislation • “Right to breastfeed” cards can backfire with employers if presented

  10. Barrier: Lack of Awareness and Demand • Employers are generally unaware of: • Needs of lactation women • Milk production as an ongoing process • Health impact of breastfeeding • How a lactation support can improve the ROI Dunn 2004) • Common myths • Breastfeeding and formula are equal • Breast milk is a potential contaminant • Breastfeeding employees will be more fatigued • Expressing milk at work interferes with productivity

  11. Barrier:Breastfeeding is a Non-Issue • Lack of awareness of how many employees are breastfeeding (Bridges 1997) • Limited requests (Dunn 2004) • Breastfeeding women wean soon after returning to work (Cardenas 2005) • Few female employees • Half of female employers breastfed (Libbus 2002)

  12. Strategies for Improving Awareness and Uncovering Demand • Provide breastfeeding data • Give data on benefits of supporting partners of male employees (Cohen 95) • Gently correct myths • Little time is needed to express human milk • OSHA does not classify human milk as “occupational exposure” • Providing a supportive environment lowers stress and could potentially lower the need for EAP benefits. • Provide information on how lactation support improves the ROI

  13. Strategies for Improving Awareness and Uncovering Demand • Give program examples from other companies • Solicit comments from employees • Offer training for managers See Folder #3, “Tool Kit” CD-ROM for program examples and Folder #5, “Outreach Resources” CD-ROM for PowerPoint presentation

  14. The National Business Group on Health • Online materials complementing The Business Case for Breastfeeding • www.businessgrouphealth.org • Model Benefit Plan – “Investing in Maternal and Child Health” • Resources for large companies • Webinars

  15. Barrier:Discussing “Intimate” Issues at Work • Breastfeeding viewed as personal and private by many employers • Discomfort thinking of employees as breastfeeding women

  16. Strategies for AddressingIntimate Issues • Identify breastfeeding mothers or other “champions” • Consider your language • Avoid images that show exposed breasts • Offer training

  17. Barrier:Lack of Space • Space = $$ • Space is limited in most companies • Employers generally unaware of the small size (4’ x 5’) that is actually needed for a lactation room • Employers may be concerned about compliance costs and effort through Americans with Disabilities Act of 1992

  18. Strategies to Address Space Needs • Reassure employers that lactation rooms can be simple and low cost and that compliance need not be difficult. • Give options for lactation rooms • American Institute of Architect – best practices [www.aia.org] • Approach the building manager of facilities that lease space • Encourage employers to involve facility staff for future renovations

  19. Making it Work – Even in Difficult Settings See “Employer Spotlights” in Folder #3, “Tool Kit” CD-ROM

  20. Not a new phenomenon Benefits to employer: Improved loyalty and retention Reduced absenteeism Lower healthcare costs Enhanced teamwork Resource: Parenting at Work Institute, www.babiesatwork.org Babies at Work

  21. Presenting Babies at Work as a Viable Option • The need is temporary for the employee (most companies limit babies to under age 6 months-1 year) • Cost outlay is low • Clear guidelines helps ensure success • Group liability coverage available • Mothers assume all liability of the infant

  22. Barrier:Lack of Flexible Scheduling Options • Settings that require more rigid work hours (ex: manufacturing plants, schools, hospitals, restaurants) • Regulated industries are bound by law to retain employees “on the floor” • Lack of awareness of the amount of time actually needed for expressing milk

  23. Strategies to AddressScheduling Needs • Tell employers: • Breaks are predictable; absences are NOT • Milk expression can generally be handled during lunch and regular breaks • Breastfeeding is a temporary need; milk expression needs diminish as baby grows • Regulated industries can follow a “stricter” scheduling

  24. Barrier: Potential Resistance fromOther Employees • mployee benefit programs are often weighed on the basis of perceived fairness by workers (Cordella 2001) • Perceived unfairness affects employee trust in management and willingness to take on extra tasks (Seijts 2004)

  25. Strategies to Gain Co-Worker Buy-In • Remind employers/co-workers that companies offer many programs for “narrow” groups because employees have different needs that require individualized programs • Promote the program as a company health benefit and family-friendly benefit that helps all employees • Include co-workers in initial planning • Promote benefits of lactation support to all workers • Maintain ongoing communication • Offer training for staff

  26. Presenting the Business Case:Do Your Homework! • Handout D: Company Profile • Gather company background information • Size of work force • Employer demographics • Existing benefits and work/life programs • Revenue • Read company history, mission/vision • Learn about other family-friendly benefits • Identify key players • Read news about the company • Other partners who can help: Chamber of Commerce, Bureau of Labor, Small Business Administration

  27. Presenting the Business Case:Prepare Your Message • Use the information you learn to prepare messages • Frame messages in short “soundbites” • List company accomplishments to affirm and tie to lactation program • Note similar companies providing lactation support and bring information to share • “Employer Snapshots” in Folder #3, “Tool Kit” • Working Woman Magazine’s “100 Best Companies” • Coalition Web sites with recognition awards

  28. Presenting the Business Case:Outline a Contact Plan Follow standard business protocol • Conduct personal visits • Schedule visits in advance with • Keep visits short • “Cut to the chase” • Avoid mailings

  29. Presenting the Business Case:Gather Materials • Resources from The Business Case for Breastfeeding • Community resources for employers • Handout F – Community Resource Flyer to note resources for: • Helping a business establish a lactation program • Teaching classes for pregnant and breastfeeding employees and partners • Direct lactation support to new mothers • Quality breast pumps • Employee resources

  30. Presenting the Business Case:Who to Approach • Collaborate with state obesity task force and/or worksite wellness council • Human resource directors • Wellness program/occupational health nurses • Employee Assistance Program • Facilities managers • Breastfeeding employees • START WITH WHO YOU KNOW! • Cold calls are a *last* resort

  31. Presenting the Business Case:What to Say • Handout E – “Outreach Meeting Guide” • Introduce yourself and explain the purpose for your visit. • Affirm what the business is doing WELL • Present the business case by focusing on employer priorities (lowering health care costs and improving employee retention) • Present The Business Case for Breastfeeding program • Listen to the employer’s concerns and barriers • Offer solutions and examples of other companies • Describe assistance your group can provide • Follow up with a thank-you

  32. Case Example:Hawaii Breastfeeding Coalition

  33. Year 1: Lessons LearnedGo to the Businesses • Chamber of Commerce meetings • Rotary Club, other business service clubs • Presentations at local SHRM chapter meetings • Exhibits at SHRM annual meeting

  34. Year 1: Lessons LearnedThink Outside the Box • Georgia Breastfeeding Coalition – Atlanta airport outreach • Central Louisiana Breastfeeding Coalition – collaboration with WIC for mini-grants to businesses

  35. Other Project Promotion Ideas • Employee health fair exhibits • Exhibits at business meetings • Attend business conferences as an attendee

  36. Using the Media • Birmingham, Alabama – opening of 1st lactation room at UAB • Hawaii morning news program (took advantage of pilot state status) • Georgia Breastfeeding Coalition – staged event to recognize businesses in the community • Connecticut Breastfeeding Coalition – articles published in business journals in the state

  37. Use Active Listening Tools • Open-ended questions • Affirmation • Provide information that targets the employer’s concerns • Avoid the temptation to do all the talking • Share strategies that other companies have tried

  38. Recognize the Readiness to Change • Unaware of lactation support • Resource: Folder #1, “The Business Case for Breastfeeding” • Aware of lactation support and somewhat interested • Resource: Folder #1, “The Business Case for Breastfeeding” and Folder #2, “Easy Steps to Supporting Breastfeeding Employees” • Ready to implement support • Resource: Folder #2, “Easy Steps to Supporting Breastfeeding Employees” and Folder #3, “Tool Kit” CD-ROM

  39. Presenting the Business CasePractice: Role PlayHandout G – “Role Play Scenarios”