Why Wellness Initiatives are Important for Your Small Business
Health and wellness are an important part of your business’s overall success: 70% of employees who engage in wellness programs reported higher job satisfaction and 56% of employees had fewer sick days due to wellness initiatives.
Prospective employees also say that they are more likely to join a business with a robust wellness program, and would have better morale if they were able to manage their health through work-related programs.
As a small business owner, you might think that wellness programs are outside of your budget. In reality, a wellness program will save you money, help you find more talented staff, and ensure that you’re set up for long-term business growth.
Why Wellness Is Important
Major brands like Nike and Apple have wellness programs for a reason. Apple even employs an internal crew of healthcare providers like phlebotomists and acute care physicians who are dedicated to serving and supporting the health and wellness of their employees.
As a small business, you probably can’t afford to hire a crew of wellness experts. But, you can still enroll your staff in wellness programs that improve their health and buffer your bottom line.
Reduce Medical Costs and Absenteeism
Medical bills and time off work can have a major impact on your operations as a small business. Larger businesses can shift responsibilities and hire temporary cover when people fall ill, but you might not have the funds to cover a marketer or sales rep who needs medical attention.
Research on wellness programs shows that wellness programs have a positive ROI. For every dollar spent on wellness, companies can expect to save $3.27 on medical costs and $2.73 on absenteeism. This will free up funds for other ventures, and ensure that you can grow sustainably without losing productivity to medical issues and absenteeism.
Employees who participate in wellness programs are more likely to buy into company culture and feel invested in the success of the business. According to the American Psychological Association, 91% of employees who are enrolled in a wellness program say they are more motivated and satisfied with their job.
As a small business, you rely heavily on engaged employees who care about the success of the business and give their all on a day-to-day basis. By giving back to employees, you can secure their motivation, create buy-in, and even attract better talent to your business.
The best employees know their worth and won’t settle for anything less. As a small business, you may not be able to offer six-figure salaries, but you can attract talented employees who are looking for an employer that cares about their health and wellbeing.
Failing to offer a wellness program may put you at a disadvantage in the job-seekers market, too. According to the Reward & Employee Benefits Association, 74% of employers offer and track the efficacy of wellness initiatives. So, if you do not offer an effective wellness program, you may find that your best employees seek greener pastures.
Healthy and happy staff are vital to the success of your overall business plan. Without happy staff, your vision will falter and you’re less likely to reach your goals.
Wellness programs can counteract the stress of work life and improve morale across your business. According to Udemy, 48% of employees say that wellness programs have helped them better manage their stress. Similarly, 54% of businesses say they noticed an improvement in morale due to wellness schemes.
Current consumer trends show that customers want to buy from businesses that reflect their values. Consumers care about their mental health and well-being and want to see a similar commitment from the businesses they buy from.
You can score a quick marketing win by creating an affordable wellness program that suits your business and meets your employees’ needs.
Ways to Create an Affordable Program
As a small business, you probably don’t have much wiggle room for extra expenses or expenditures that don’t directly improve your bottom line. As such, you need to create affordable, but effective, wellness programs that improve buy-in and support future business growth.
Incentivize Preventative Care Visits
Investing in preventative care is the best way to reduce absenteeism and reduce workplace sickness. However, many employees don’t understand the value of preventive care, and would rather skip the doctor's office in favor of an early finish.
Incentivize staff to take up preventive care opportunities by giving them time off work to visit healthcare providers and offering small gifts to those who participate. Entering folks into a raffle or lucky dip prize will improve engagement and convince a few more folks to participate.
Everyone loves feeling like part of a team. You can take advantage of your tight-knit culture to improve participation and create a buzz around your current wellness scheme.
Consider running fitness challenges that involve the whole team. Think of unique ways to engage the uber-fit and the couch potatoes of your team, and give everyone a chance to score “points” for their department.
Seasonal fitness challenges can be particularly effective. Consider hosting a turkey trot training program, a summer soccer team, or a gym group for folks with New Year's resolutions.
Regular breaks are integral to the health and well-being of your employees. However, many high-performing employees themselves run into the ground by overworking and missing their scheduled breaks.
Folks who work from home are particularly susceptible to conditions related to overworking. Health risks of remote work include burnout, musculoskeletal pain, and eye strain. This will derail operational efficiency and lead to higher absenteeism.
Incentivize more breaks during the day by offering paid-break time and more flexible working hours. Lead the way by taking fitness breaks of your own like short walks or 15-minute yoga sessions.
Everyone’s mental health and well-being have been under strain in the past few years. As an employer, you can encourage your staff to come forward and talk about their problems with healthcare professionals.
Restructure your healthcare package to include access to therapists and psychiatrists. Research by the American Psychological Association (APA) shows that folks who are able to regularly visit therapists gain life skills that serve them in professional environments.
Funding therapy, and giving employees time to attend meetings, can turn your company culture around and help staff take better care of their overall health and wellness.
Wellness initiatives can improve your workplace productivity and attract better talent to your business. Wellness initiatives have a great ROI, too, as every dollar spent on preventative care yields great returns for your staff. Even if you can’t afford a large, corporate-scale wellness program, you can still start small initiatives that show employees you are serious about their overall health and well-being.