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Small Business Benefits: Health and Wellness Programs Matter

Whether you’re trying to acquire talent or trying to retain it, employee benefits are one of the most powerful tools at your disposal. For many professions, a salary alone simply won’t cut it — additional incentives are increasingly necessary to attract a capable workforce.

A few employee benefits are “table stakes” — medical, dental, vision and 401(k)s are largely expected, certainly in the white-collar world.

However, several other, less ballyhooed small business benefits are not only attractive in their own right — but they can be a net positive to your company, too.

Today we’re going to talk about one in particular: Health and wellness initiatives.

Health and Wellness Programs as a Benefit

Health and wellness programs are any initiatives that help your workers become and remain healthy.

The concept is pretty simple, and it benefits both employee and employer alike. Being healthy naturally benefits the worker, both at and outside of the workplace. Meanwhile, employers typically reap higher productivity from healthy employees, not to mention, it can also reduce the amount they pay on providing medical insurance.

From an oft-cited (albeit older) Harvard study on these programs:

“In a critical meta-analysis of the literature on costs and savings associated with such programs, we found that medical costs fall by about $3.27 for every dollar spent on wellness programs and that absenteeism costs fall by about $2.73 for every dollar spent.”

In the same year, Harvard Business Review reported that Johnson & Johnson saved $250 million in healthcare costs over the course of a decade thanks to wellness programs.

Will health programs save your small business $250 million? Probably not.

Will they help your bottom line? That’s a much likelier outcome.

And as time passes, it’s increasingly likely you’ll need these benefits to get the attention of high-quality workers. A survey from staffing firm OfficeTeam found that 73% of professionals said “a company’s health and wellness offerings influence their decision to work there.”

Types of Health and Wellness Programs

When you think about the term “health and wellness programs,” you probably are thinking about physical wellness. As you should be — physical wellness benefits are among some of the most common employer offerings. But there are many types of wellness you should be aware of when coming up with initiatives.

Here are a few, as well as examples of related benefits you can offer:

  • Physical wellness: These benefits can include free or discounted gym memberships, fitness classes, yoga classes and massage therapy. Companies can also hold fitness challenges.
  • Mental wellness: Potential benefits include on-site counseling, virtual mental health, and free or discounted access to mental health/therapy apps. A few other traditional benefits — such as adequate paid time off (PTO), parental leave and caregiver leave — can promote mental wellness, too.
  • Occupational wellness: Occupational wellness initiatives help employees find satisfaction and happiness within their job. Benefits that can improve this include flexible work schedules, employee development, mentoring and public recognition.
  • Financial wellness: Financial difficulties can be a major distraction for employees and effect their mental and even physical well-being. While you obviously want to do what you can to provide a good wage, there are other financial wellness benefits you can pile on to help workers out. Financial wellness benefits include online education, tools, and even coaching about topics such as saving, budgeting, managing debt and investing.

Are You Ready to Add More Beneficial Benefits?

If you haven’t dealt with many (or any) of the health and wellness programs we’ve mentioned above, you could still try implementing them yourself — or you could hand the baton to a more experienced hand.

McManamon & Co. offers a wide range of custom services to small and midsize businesses, including consulting for numerous needs. For instance, we can help you determine which employee benefits are best for you to offer, including a number of health and wellness initiatives.

Reach out and find out what we can do for you and your business! Just call 440.892.8900 or contact us online.

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