What is Wellness?
Your wellness is simply the condition of your physical and mental health. Furthermore, it is the result of all your lifestyle choices and the actions you take (or lack thereof) to be healthier. Wellness has several dimensions including emotional, environmental, financial, intellectual, occupational, physical, social and spiritual wellness. In other words, it is how healthy and happy you are with all aspects of your life. A Successful small business wellness program addresses and improves these wellness dimensions for everyone within the organization.
What is the Purpose of a Workplace Wellness Program?
The main purpose of creating a successful small business wellness program is to help small business owners and their employees to lead healthier lives. In addition, a workplace wellness program is an investment into your small business with benefits such as:
- Creating a healthier work environment and enhancing your business image.
- Building employee morale and loyalty.
- Improving employee productivity and relations.
- Reducing injuries, absenteeism and stress.
- Lowering healthcare costs, workers’ compensation and disability-related costs.
- Increasing employee retention and stimulating recruitment.
What is Workplace Wellness Program?
A Successful Small Business Wellness Program contains policies and activities designed to promote healthy behavior in the workplace and improve individual health outcomes. This includes outcomes such as improving fitness, eating healthy, losing weight and being happier.
Small Business Workplace Wellness Programs covers aspects such as:
- Education/seminars on topics such as health, nutrition and stress management.
- Plans for medical/biometric assessments and screening.
- Plans for mental health, weight management, quitting smoking, stress management, etc.
- On-site fitness facilities or sponsored gym memberships, and allowing flex-time for exercise.
- Employee incentives such as weight loss competitions, financial and other incentives for participation (lower health-insurance premiums, gift cards, etc).
- Smoking workplace restrictions, substance abuse/drug use testing, etc.
- Ergonomic measures, injury prevention procedures and safety equipment.
- Sexual harassment and non-discrimination programs.
- Availability of on-site eating facilities/areas and offering healthy food options in workplace vending machines and cafeterias.
- Encouraging physical activity in workplace such as walking, stretching and “walk and talk” meetings.
A Workplace Wellness Programs can be as simple as whatever you as a small business owner want it to be. Just do something and show your employees you care about them and their health.
Requirements for a Successful Small Business Wellness Program
The requirements for a Successful Small Business Wellness Program includes:
- Small business owner commitment and wellness program budget.
- Well-designed wellness program with goals designed around the needs of employees.
- Wellness education and creating awareness of risk factors.
- Clinical assessment and screening of key health measures.
- Behavior change interventions designed to lower health risks.
- Engagement methods that includes workplace activities to engage employees and health coaching.
- Incentives to motivate and reward participation.
- Measuring mechanism to assess wellness program success and initiate changes. In addition to measuring bio-metric scores, it could also include absenteeism and productivity measures.