Small Businesses with Health & Wellness Programs Tout Bottom-Line Impact

While most small businesses don’t offer health and wellness programs to their employees, three of four that offer such programs do find the initiatives have a positive impact on their bottom line.

That’s one of the key conclusions of a study of more than 1,000 small-business owners. The study aimed to uncover health and wellness needs and barriers facing small businesses in today’s post-recession business recovery. Key findings include:

-An overwhelming 93 percent of the respondents consider their employees’ physical and mental health to be important to their financial results, but only one-third express confidence in their ability to help employees manage their well-being.

-More than half surveyed maintained that insufficient information is available that pertains to small businesses introducing health and wellness programs.

-Startups (those companies less than 10 years old) are leading the way with 63 percent having already adopted health and wellness programs.

(Note: This survey defined health and wellness programs at initiatives aimed at encouraging employees to make healthier choices such as getting preventative care, eating right, and exercising.)

Small-Business Startups Most Likely to Provide Wellness Programs

A key factor in small business owners’ decision about whether or not to introduce a health and wellness program rests with employee interest.

-Interestingly enough, startups find their employees, many of them younger, actually prefer and pursue such offerings.

-85 percent of startups say wellness programs are worth the investment and 63 percent are already adopting such programs.

-Most startups say these programs aid in recruiting and retaining employees.

Stress as Top Concern for Employee Well-being

While often focused on physical health, well-being programs can impact mental health too.

-High employee stress is the number one concern for small business decision-makers; especially those at smaller companies, with stress levels more than triple other employee well-being concerns.

-Understanding this issue and incorporating stress-management into wellness offerings will be an important consideration for small business owners moving forward.

-In fact, 67 percent say offering programs that help keep employees healthy would be the best health-related option received by employees, versus only 17 percent who say allocating more sick days.

“This study reveals a unique set of concerns and challenges small-business owners face to make employee wellness a reality particularly in today’s tough business environment. For instance, high employee stress and employee psychological well-being are the top two concerns for small-business decision-makers,” said Todd McCracken, NSBA president and CEO. “This new information shows that small businesses seek better information to make health and wellness a reality for small businesses. Workplace wellness programs can play a role in making quality affordable health care accessible for small-business owners and their employees.”