Content provided by Aetna for the exclusive use of Bank of America and the Small Business Community
What’s the easiest way to strengthen your business? Have healthy employees! It sounds easier said than done, but investing in a workplace wellness program (WWP) can get you and your employees on the right track toward living healthier lives. You’ll save on more than health care costs, too — even if you don’t offer health insurance.
WWPs have been proven to increase productivity and reduce absenteeism, disability costs and employee turnover for small employers.1 These indirect cost savings at least doubles those of health care spending — and those savings continue to grow year after year as employees become healthier and happier.1 Yet so many small business do not offer a workplace wellness program.
The advantages can help knock down any barriers that might prevent you from implementing a program.
Perceived expense threatens cash flow
Note the word “perceived.” The fact is, programs can cost little to nothing when you leverage the right resources.
Fewer layers of management make leadership more visible
Imagine the impact when everyone shares the same experience of commitment, struggles and successes to healthier living
High turnover can stifle a program’s success
Employees need to stay long enough for the program to make a difference. But, health promotion can be a strong recruiting tool and WWPs can help to reduce employee turnover.1
Fewer work locations make customization easier
Studies show tailoring programs to the unique needs of a population works. An intimate work location is better able to custom design a program using onsite and community resources.
Privacy is hard to maintain in small populations
You can take advantage of HIPAA-compliant resources, including programs that may come with your health insurance plan.
Change is more evident with small populations
Positive health changes are magnified in smaller social circles and close proximity to peer support.
Work with your employees to create a program they can get excited about
- Talk openly with them about why you want to start a wellness program.
- Find out their needs and wants. Ask for their ideas for tailoring a program they’ll use.
- Offer incentives that are meaningful to them. Incentives don’t have to be costly. You can reward employees with first choice in vacation time, extra days off, access to seminars and more. Let them share their ideas.
To learn more about WWPs, visit www.cdc.gov/workplacehealthpromotion.
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1 Partnership for Prevention. Leading by Example: The Value of Health Promotion to Small- and Medium-Sized Employers. www.prevent.org/data/files/initiatives/lbe_smse_2011_final.pdf. (As recommended by the Centers for Disease Control). Accessed July 28, 2014.
2 CDC. Workplace Health Promotion – Making the Business Case. Available at: www.cdc.gov/workplacehealthpromotion/businesscase/reasons/productivity.html. Accessed July 29, 2014.
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