Workplace Wellness Programs for Small Businesses
Promoting healthy lifestyles in a healthy workplace
By Christina Martinez
For a small business, losing just one employee to frequent sick days (absenteeism) or an extended absence can lead to significant productivity losses. It can also damage morale as the remaining employees are then forced to pick up the slack.
Large businesses are no longer the only ones who are implementing employee wellness programs. Small businesses are following in their footsteps, realizing that these programs can not only reduce healthcare costs, lessen worker’s compensation claims, decrease absenteeism and prevent employee turnover, but they can also increase productivity, reduce stress and improve the attitudes of employees.
If you are considering a wellness program to save money and have a healthier, happier workforce, consider some of these ideas to get started.
- Encourage employees to include healthy activities into their workday. And, make this both practical and possible. For example, organize walking meetings, allow extended lunches for employees to work out or go for a run, or support standing desks.
- Ask for employees’ feedback. Ask employees what they feel can be done by the business to help improve employees’ health.
- Leadership Buy-In. Start wellness program activities at the leadership level and lead by example. Make your leaders the health promoters for the company.
- Make your work environment reflective of a healthy culture. Take a look around your work space. Does the physical environment make it easy for employees to get or stay healthy?
- Request employees to share their success. Encourage employees to share health-related efforts and successes with others.
- Discuss health and wellness alongside business decisions. For example, if you’re considering relocating or changing working hours, consider employees’ health as an important factor in decision-making.
- Provide rewards and incentives. Use a rewards, incentives or recognition program to recognize, award or celebrate health success.
- Clean out the kitchen. If you have an open kitchen, cafeteria or vending machines, provide healthy options. Get rid of the junk.
- Encourage occasional web surfing. Don’t get me wrong, chronic web surfing is a productivity killer. However, research shows that occasional, passive web surfing really boosts employees’ moods.
- “Off the clock”? Encourage employees to disengage from work. The ‘always on’ atmosphere at many small businesses can lead to stress, burn-out and poor employee wellness. Encourage productivity while at the office and encourage employees to disconnect from work during off-hours. Leadership can set the example by leaving at a reasonable time and limiting non-urgent communication outside of business hours.
Whatever you as a company decide, decide to do something to actively promote the health and mental well-being of employees.
Christina Martinez is Triune’s Director of Marketing and Business Development. Christina brings over 10 years of high level marketing experience to Triune. Triune is a leading, integrated, design-build General Contractor founded in 1997. Triune is headquartered in Dallas, TX – www.tmvllc.us
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