The leading misconception among small and medium-sized business owners is that implementing a workplace wellness program is too expensive. The thinking is that wellness programs are better suited for large organizations that can realize the benefits primarily on the strength of their numbers. Small and medium-sized business owners face other challenges too; higher employee turn-over rates, limited staff resources, privacy issue… as a result, although small and medium-sized companies employ the majority of Americans, they’re far less likely to sponsor workplace wellness programs.
The fact is indisputable, sponsoring workplace wellness programs provides many advantages to small and medium-sized businesses, not the least of which; employee retention, improved productivity and a decrease in direct medical and indirect employer costs.
To help you side-step perceived barriers and get your wellness program started, here are 6 distinct advantages to being a smaller business starting your wellness program.
- Intimate work culture: Because small and medium-sized companies have fewer work locations, the concentration of employees and the work space are conducive to promoting and supporting positive health practices (tobacco cessation, eating healthfully, increasing physical activity). Close social networks have been shown to be influential factors in promoting and supporting behavioral change.
- Change is more evident: With a smaller number of employees that make up a smaller social circle, positive health changes are magnified and this reinforces self-efficacy, (“If Stacy can do it, so can I.”), promoting success among employees.
- Productivity is impacted: The ripple effect of advantage # 2. Research has demonstrated that low-risk, healthy employees are less likely to be absent or injured and more likely to be engaged in their work. This translates into greater efficiency and less business disruption for small and medium-sized business employers.
- Fewer barriers to implementation: Because smaller companies have fewer organizational layers, they’re more flexible and time efficient in implementing, assessing and adapting their wellness program.
- Employers have more opportunity to be directly engaged in wellness activities. The leadership of the company is able to steer initial engagement and more likely to participate in the program, creating a leadership-in-wellness example for employees.
- Financial incentives: Federal health care legislation provides potential small business grants and tax credits for implementing workplace wellness programs. Some states also provide small businesses with “wellness credits” to implement programs.
With limited human and financial resources to devote to wellness programs, small and medium- sized employers need to embrace a creative approach and maximize the unique advantages they have in promoting a healthy workforce. Wellness programs are a critical business decision for small and medium-sized companies. They help employers leverage the power of employee health as a cost containment strategy and, more importantly, wellness programs provide a productivity strategy to support, protect and enhance your company’s number one asset: your employees.
To schedule a free workplace wellness strategy consultation CONTACT ME.