Small Employer Wellness: Little Budget, Big Impact

October 12, 2018 | A path to an informed electorate Lynn Kooker MS, CHES, Client Relations & Wellness, Focus OneSource,

Worksite wellness is no longer just a buzzword used by employers to entice a young, motivated workforce, but has become a critical component of benefit packages for mid-to-large employers. Comprehensive worksite wellness programs not only help manage the cost of sick or absent employees, but also improve employee engagement, leading to more productive employees and a healthier bottom line for employers.

However, even given these benefits, few small businesses offer wellness as part of their benefit offerings. The barriers are obvious: no dedicated wellness manager to lead the efforts, too few employees to generate meaningful reporting of ROI and often little to no budget.

Small employers can reap many of the benefits of a wellness program with little investment. Even in small doses, wellness efforts can have a big impact on employee morale, engagement and productivity. For example:

  • Offer an Employee Assistance Program. This is a low-cost, important benefit that gives employees and their families resources for life’s challenges that affect all dimensions of health.
  • Allow employees to take short physical activity breaks throughout the day.
  • Offer employees “Wellness Time” to take care of preventive health needs, such as annual physicals, screenings, etc.
  • Replace vending machines with water coolers and fresh fruit in the break room.
  • Encourage team participation in community events (walk/run, bike ride, etc.).

As an expert in small-business needs, Focus OneSource has learned that many small employers are ready for more comprehensive wellness programming, but need the time and expertise to make it a successful reality. Focus OneWellness was created to bring large-company wellness programming to the small employer with health risk assessments, employee surveys, health coaching, online tracking, onsite programs and custom campaigns. The program includes a dedicated wellness professional to manage the program, allowing small-business owners to focus on their business.

Attracting and retaining the best possible employees is more challenging than ever, and every employer is looking for an edge that sets them apart. What better way than an employer showing they care about the health and well-being of their employees by investing in a worksite wellness program. You don’t have to have a big company to have a big impact.