Employee wellness programs benefit small businesses, too

Programs aimed at improving employee health and well-being are common in large corporations. However, a new study suggests that small businesses can reap the benefits as well.

Researchers evaluated the best practices of a small Nebraska company’s wellness program, which included health awareness as well as encouraging personal responsibility, physical activity, a healthy diet and community involvement. Additionally, the company focused on fostering job satisfaction.

The team of researchers from the Health Enhancement Research Organization found that 99 percent of the company’s employees attended health screenings, and many took advantage of the wellness programs provided. Previous evaluations of the small business revealed that it had lower instances of employee tobacco use, reduced workers’ compensation costs and lower-than-average healthcare expenditures.

“These findings clearly indicate the dramatic consequences that small employer wellness programs can have on multiple domains of well-being, such as physical health, emotional health and healthy behaviors of employees,” said James E. Pope M.D., co-author of the study.

Results of the study suggest that the initial investment of implementing an employee wellness program may be worth it – even when the business is small.

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