Small Business Management: Work on Employee Wellness this Summer

by / Tuesday, 03 June 2014 / Published in Small Business Financing

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Smaller businesses often don’t have wellness programs in place, citing costs or the time it takes to put them together as their main issues. However, the benefits of wellness programs are manifold, from improving the health of employees, reducing the number of sick days that they take and even contributing in higher morale and reduced turnover within your organization.

What is wellness, exactly? Wellness programs take many forms, but most commonly they refer to programs that are put in place in order to improve the health and quality of life of workers in a business. They can be perks, like healthy snacks in the break room, or they can be active programs such as communal yoga classes or a post work day stretch. In some companies, there are educational resources available to employees, such as classes on healthy eating or how to improve posture after sitting for days in an office chair. If you have an idea of how to make a positive impact in the health and well-being of your workers, then it can become part of your wellness program.

Ask your employees what they are interested in. Business owners should be aware before they take steps to get the financing required to fund wellness projects that if none of their employees are actually interested in them, they are wasting time, money and energy. That’s why, even if you have an idea for a program that you are very enthusiastic about, it pays to ask around. If your employees are intimidated giving feedback, then you can gather ideas or organize a vote through an online survey.

Wellness programs don’t have to be expensive. Something as simple as organizing a company basketball game or a weekly jog can help you and your employees remain active, and is a perfect way to get outdoors during the Summer. Exercising together is a good way to encourage team building, which in turn can translate to more personal investment in a job. In the event that you really can’t afford to finance a wellness program, ask if there is interest in a communal program among yourself and your employees, such as a group contribution towards a shared event or resource. Something simple and fun like an employee massage day where a professional can help your workers unwind may be something that your staff would be willing to chip in or fund raise for.

Why work on wellness now? With small businesses widely reporting little to no plans for hiring, they have the opportunity to focus on retaining the ones that they have. It’s common for employees to be required to be highly adaptable and able to cover a wide range of responsibilities, so making sure they are happy and healthy and committed to their jobs is of utmost importance. The Summer months are a time when some businesses are at their most busy, and some are experiencing slow periods, but regardless, the fair weather and fun of the season makes the Summer a good time to put a program in place that can help promote mental and physical health.

Photo Credit to Ursula Le Guin on Flickr

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