Wellness programs are a growing trend across all business sectors, including small businesses. Small companies, just like large companies, want to find ways to increase employee morale and productivity while decreasing their health care cost all while having an edge in recruiting against other organizations. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, a staggering 99.7% of all businesses in the U.S. are small businesses. What’s more, small businesses employ 50% of the entire working population in this country.
There has been a lot of research and articles published to show the effectiveness of wellness program for large companies but we really do not have a lot of resources to prove how these programs work in a small business setting. Wellness programs can be expensive to create and maintain but there are many low cost, high impact ideas that small businesses can incorporate to create a healthier and happier team.
Here are some low cost wellness program initiatives that can be offered to any small company:
- Healthy wellness messages and newsletters
- Onsite lunch and learn sessions
- Discounts to local fitness centers
- Flex time to allow employees to exercise during the day
- Implement health promoting policies
- Support community events
- Friendly wellness challenges
- Offer healthy vending machines
These are just a few ideas on how a small business can incorporate some wellness initiatives in their workplace. All small business are unique and very different than larger companies. When it comes to designing and delivering a wellness program at any level, it is important to remember some of these key factors when designing a program.
- Support from top management
- Having support from the Owner/CEO will show the employees that there is “buy-in” in program and will set the tone for the success of the program
- Designate a wellness champion
- Once the importance of the program has been announced, it is essential to have a point person within the company who is also passionate about the success of the program.
- Employee Interest Survey
- The interest survey is a key component so the company gathers information and feedback on what matters and what employees have interest in.
If you are a small business and wondering if a wellness program is a fit for you, the time is now.