Investing in wellness programs can help the bottom line of small businesses, at a rate of just about 2:1. For each dollar that a company puts into a wellness program, they see an average of $2 worth of benefits in return. This includes get healthier staff, fewer injuries in the workplace, and higher productivity, according to a study in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
The findings might come as a surprise to the two-thirds of all small businesses without a wellness program in place. But when they hear that 97% of the owners that responded the survey said that these programs improve the safety of their workers, in turn reducing claims for workers’ compensation insurance. This alone will be inducement for many small companies worried about increased workers’ comp claims.
You can clearly save money with a wellness program, but many small companies find it hard enough just to make payroll. They don’t implement a program citing costs. But there are several ways you can encourage a culture of wellness among your workers. Here is a list of four.
#1. Make it easy to get physical.
The more physical exercise your employees get during the day, the less strain they suffer. They deal with less stress by boosting endorphins, which also improve mood and thus the general atmosphere. It also helps workers focus, improving productivity and reducing errors.
Simple ways to move more include going for a walk on break or at lunch and encouraging stretch breaks, especially for computer users.
#2. Buy some fruit.
Instead of sugary donuts and soft drinks, or at least in addition to them, put out a bowl of apples for snacks. Bring in vegetable trays when you have a meeting. Encourage your staff to add fruit and vegetables to their lunch selections.
#3. Set a company-wide goal for better health.
Have a weekly or monthly goal that everyone can participate in. This might include avoid junk food for one week, or even one day or take 1000 extra steps each day. Reward winners with small gifts, like a pedometer or a gift certificate to a healthy café.
#4. Work on the environment.
Get rid of clutter, repair rips in carpet and upholstery. Paint the hallway a cheery color. This improves mood, lets in light and reduces the chances of accidents.
Wellness programs pay for themselves and them some. They don’t take the place of workers’ compensation insurance—every business needs that in case of injury. But the programs can reduce your claims and thereby lower your premiums.