How Small Businesses Can Encourage Employee Wellness And Why They Should
Employee wellness should be top priority for small businesses.
Whether you have large staff or just a small team, good health is a priceless employee investment.
Employee wellness programs can improve absenteeism, workforce productivity, and retention. Wellness programs are designed to change policy and improve the work environment so it is easier for employees to adopt and maintain healthy behaviors.
Employee Wellness – Small Business Success
Small businesses are often a tight-knit group of co-workers. Whether family-owned or not, they still have the mindset of ‘we’re like family’.
A big part of why small businesses have success with wellness programs is because employees feel like their employer cares about them and their well-being. To get an employee to engage in the the program is typically easier because all of the employees know each other and feel comfortable. Participation is usually higher in small businesses.
Getting Employees Excited About Wellness
There are a lot of providers out there that can set your organization up with a workplace wellness program. If you’re unable to shell out the cash for an outside training program to come in house, there are plenty of perks you can extend to your staff to get them excited about wellness.
Healthy food can be costlier than unhealthy snacks. Some people don’t have it in their budget to buy lunch or snack items that are good for them.
Fast food is called fast food for a reason. Let’s be honest, grabbing a donut on the way to work in the morning is way easier then spending the time making an egg white omelet.
Stock your company pantry with healthy snacks like nuts, granola, and dried fruits, taking into consideration any allergy and/or dietary restrictions. Employees will certainly appreciate the effort to keep their energy high with healthy snack options.
Give A Longer Lunch Break
Instead of giving a 30-minute lunch break where employees might be more prone to grabbing fast food, extend the lunch to 90 minutes. Allow your employees to take a reasonable lunch where they can travel to grab a healthier option and even exercise!
If it seems you’re giving free time away, consider the benefits.
Employees can sometimes feel that 2pm crash. Giving extra time for employees to work out or practice yoga could improve overall energy and help employees be more productive.
Keep employees accountable by encouraging friendly competition. Employees can even come up with a goal themselves. Each month a new “theme” of goals can be set. This will keep engagement and participation high.
At the end of each month the employee with the most progress should be awarded with a prize. This could be tickets to a sporting event or, on the smaller scale, a gift card for a massage.
Bring Exercise Into The Office
A wellness program with strong leadership support will have more success.
Get upper managment involved. Choose one day per week to bring exercise in house. Offer part of the extended lunch hour be used towards a group exercise or activity.
If you have space in your office, bring in an instructor. With various fitness apps available, it should be easy to have an employee lead the group and use their iPhone to conduct a class.
Healthy Snack Potluck
Offering free food is a huge perk. Although, it might be hard to always have fresh produce in the office, at the same time employees might get sick of the same fruits and vegetables.
Make it fun! Start a regular snack potluck. Once a month have employees bring in a healthy snack to the office. Encourage them to share the recipe with their coworkers so they’ll be able to enjoy it again on their own time.
Why Employee Wellness Is A Company Benefit
When employees have access to wellness perks that contribute to their health and happiness, they feel connected to the company.
Employee wellness programs demonstrate the commitment an employer has to their employees. This brings higher productivity, a healthier and stronger workforce, and lower absenteeism rates.
What does this mean for business owners?
Dedicated employees will likely stay with you longer, helping with retention rates. Healthier employees could save you money on health insurance, and those with stronger immune systems won’t be getting sick and spreading it through out the office.
Keeping your employees happy and healthy will also keep your business in shape!