Long Lasting Benefits of Employee Wellness Programs

According to the National Business Group on Health (NBGH), in 2010, 67% of business owners admitted that the poor health habits of their employees is a major challenge (in the top 3) to maintaining affordable medical coverage. Employers are adopting health and wellness programs to counteract the rising costs of employee health care, and corporate programs are beginning to offer various levels of intervention from wellness information to healthy lunches and fitness education to installation of a company gym.


The employer benefits of implementing a corporate health and wellness program are far reaching:

  • Lower cost of employee health care
  • Decrease in employee absenteeism
  • Increase in employee productivity
  • Decrease in cost of workers’ compensation and disability
  • Decrease in employee injuries
  • Improvement in employee morale (Society for Human Resource Management)
  • And even improvement of wellbeing, job satisfaction, and job retention


Did you know: The average medical savings is $3.27 per $1 spent on wellness programs?


Small Business Wellness Programs

As a small business owner or manager, you are in a leadership position. An effective leader leads by example, so be the health and wellness example for your employees. Here are some ways for small business owners to implement an employee wellness program without outsourcing the job:


1. If your organization has an allotted budget, consider paying for all or part of your employees’ individual gym memberships. If that is not in the budget, try to negotiate a trade deal with the local health club: free advertisement for discounted memberships for you and your employees.

2. Organize a company group to participate in charity walks/races. Not only will you and your employees get some exercise, you’ll be supporting a worthy cause and perhaps receive media coverage for your community involvement.

3. Develop a friendly yet optional fitness competition. All humans have the instinct to compete with one another, and seeing key personnel running and competing in a mixed environment can increase connections within the organization.

4. Provide healthy snacks, such as snack-size apples, bananas, or pears, raw nuts, trail mix, or yogurt, for a mid-day energy boost. Or stock your vending machines with healthy alternatives such as granola and fruit/nut bars, fruit and veggie chips, or low-sodium pretzels/popcorn.

5. Include menus from health-conscious restaurants into the mix of lunch menus posted on the bulletin board. Additionally post website links (ex. Calorie King or Calorie Count) for fast-food calorie charts to encourage your employees to learn about the unhealthy food they may be choosing.


Small businesses don’t need a large corporate budget to implement an employee wellness program. By offering some healthy and inexpensive food and menu alternatives and providing an encouraging and uplifting model, small business owners and managers can have a long lasting impact on their employees’ health and wellness.


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