Are wellness programmes worth it for your small business?

Here's why a wellness programme might be worth investing in for your small business employees.

Wellness programming is controversial for small businesses. In large corporate settings, wellness programmes have demonstrated that, in certain circumstances, they can cut down on healthcare costs and increase efficiency. They accomplish this in multiple ways. For one, employees get sick less often, and less seriously. In the United States, for example, heart disease and diabetes are two of the top killers of adults. But both can be prevented in frequent cases, as long as exercise, diet, and mental health work together to keep the individual healthy. This helps employees healthy, bodily and financially. Many employees may think more about financial health (through sources like AAA Credit Guide) than they do about their physical wellbeing, but it doesn’t have to be this way. Both are necessary.

Corporate wellness programmes can also promote better states of mind. Most people aren’t able to be well in their bodies if they don’t feel well in their minds. ‘Wellness’ is such a broad term, that it can and does include mental healthcare for many corporate entities. People start to pay attention to their mental health as a high priority. In some of these settings, wellness programs can include things like yoga or counselling, both of which can contribute to someone feeling more at home in their mind.

Finally corporate wellness programmes can cut down on time spent away from the office, for routine care. Many American wellness programmes include onsite clinics, which act as primary care for employees. These are popping up in Europe as well. They’ve all proved beneficial for large corporate entities, but the question is: Is wellness programming workable for a small business?

The answer is: sometimes. Formal wellness programming, as facilitated by the companies that facilitate that sort of thing, can be cumbersome and expensive. It’s something that might be too much for a small business to afford. But for small businesses that provide their employees with health insurance, wellness promotion should be part of the equation. But it might be more effective to make it part of company culture rather than an official part of the healthcare and insurance package.

Wellness is an important aspect of culture. For the past several decades, obesity and disease have started to typify Western culture. But this tide is starting to turn. Many people are learning that just because they live in a time of comfort and ease, this doesn’t mean they have to be sedentary. As individuals start to get healthier, they start to influence their friends and coworkers to do the same. In this way, people make each other healthier.

It can be downright offensive and discriminatory to bring up an employee’s health over an HR conversation or anything of the type. But there is nothing wrong with making an example of yourself for the sake of wellness. If you are an entrepreneur, or have any position in a company, really, make it a point to get fit and healthy. As you accomplish your fitness goals, you will serve as an inspiration to your co-workers. If you are so inclined, invite a coworker to the gym or to play a game of basketball at lunch. This little step can make a huge difference in the personal health of a company, and can cut down on healthcare costs overall.

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