Posted March 31, 2016
Small business owners are faced with a dilemma: They want to help employees take care of their health, but often lack the financial resources. So instead of implementing wellness programs, employers should focus on overall employee wellbeing for the best return on investment.
Employee illness affects the entire business
When employees at small businesses miss work due to sickness or medical problems, or struggle to finish projects because they don’t feel good, operations can suffer. Other employees may have to fill in to meet work deadlines, customers may not receive the expected service, and office morale may suffer.
Helping employees stay healthy helps small businesses operate efficiently and keeps health care costs low. Many employers implement wellness programs with hopes of helping employees pursue healthier lifestyles, but often the results are not as expected.
Focus on five areas of wellbeing
Instead of focusing on wellness, Gallup encourages employers to embrace employee wellbeing. Wellbeing incorporates wellness ideas, but takes a broader approach toward assisting employees in five key areas of their lives: career, social, financial, physical and community. Learn more about wellbeing by watching this video.
Gallup reports that when employees’ wellbeing needs are met, they are happier, healthier, more productive and have higher job satisfaction.
Encourage preventive care
As part of the focus on physical wellbeing, small businesses should encourage employees to participate in preventive medical, dental, vision and hearing screenings to look for signs of other health problems. Small employers may be reluctant to invest in preventive screenings. However, keeping employees well helps employers keep medical costs under control.
For example, employee absenteeism due to dental problems can dramatically affect business productivity and customer service.