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How To Make Wellness Programs For Small Businesses Work?

10 min read
Last Updated on 12 February, 2024

In today's fast-paced and demanding work environment, taking care of employee well-being has become more crucial than ever. Modern workplaces with high stress and intense competition can negatively affect employees' mental and physical health.

Small business owners can create a nurturing and supportive culture by implementing wellness programs. This benefits their employees' health and happiness, boosts productivity and overall success. You can create a harmonious work-life balance for your team, enabling them to thrive professionally and personally.

So, if you're ready to discover how wellness programs can positively impact your small business, you've come to the right place.

What is a Small Business Wellness Program?

A boy and a girl exercising

Small businesses are industries that carry out small-scale production of goods and services. Some of its characteristics include -

  • Management: The owner is in complete control of all management activities.
  • Small Employee Base: Low employee base is another distinguishing feature.
  • Limited Range: They can only operate in a certain area. They might be a neighborhood store or a local business.
  • Flexibility: Small businesses are open and adaptable to abrupt developments, unlike huge sectors.
  • Resources: They make use of nearby and currently accessible resources. They use natural resources more effectively and waste less.

Wellness programs aim to support employees in maintaining good health. This can be particularly advantageous for small businesses with limited resources to cover extensive healthcare benefits for their staff.

These may make them thrive at work and in their personal lives. This type of program typically includes various activities and resources to improve physical and mental health.

When effectively implemented, they enhance employee well-being while boosting productivity. Activities relating to wellness include everything. For example, nutrition advice, wellness challenges, gym memberships, or wellness or meditation app subscriptions.

Suggested Read: A Complete Guide To Corporate Wellness Program

Why is Employee Wellness Important?

Brain with flowers

There are many reasons why small businesses should consider implementing a wellness program. Consider the following data while creating a wellness program at work:

  • According to American Psychology, 91% of workers at organizations that foster well-being feel driven to give their all.
  • Doubles the rate of employee engagement.
  • Cut back on sick days by as much as six days annually.
  • Companies with higher engagement levels are 22% more productive.
  • Companies can save $2.73 in reduced absenteeism for every dollar they spend on health.
  • Increases revenue per employee by 50%.
  • According to Forbes, employees communicate more effectively and with less stress.
  • According to Integrity Data, 20% of workers would give up a pay raise for improved health insurance costs.

Benefits of Employee Wellness for Small Business

Benefits of employee wellness for small business

The advantages of implementing workplace wellness programs in businesses are infinite. The benefits are advantageous for both your brand and your staff. How, therefore, do wellness programs function?

Here are a few of the advantages:

  • Employees who take better care of themselves are more likely to be productive than those who don't.
  • Healthy employees provide better customer service. This makes consumers happier and creates a positive feedback cycle.
  • Certain programs encourage employees to care for their health and adopt healthy lifestyles. These programs also have the potential to lower medical costs for businesses.
  • Productivity and well-being of employees.
  • Greater commitment to the organization by the workforce.
  • Lower rates of employee turnover.
  • Increased involvement, contentment, and morale among employees.

Additionally, employees who are less anxious or dissatisfied can spend more productive time at work. If you need assistance in creating an outstanding program for your business, continue reading below.

Moving slowly is the best practice to follow when introducing any new concept into your organization. This can assist you in determining what works for your group or staff.

Why should small businesses consider employee well-being programs?

Every business should implement wellness programs because of their potential to address their unique challenges. Research indicates that unwell employees in small businesses can significantly impact productivity. This leads to a staggering annual loss of $225 billion to organizations.

We've all heard the adage, "Happy employees make for happy customers." But did you also realize that unhappy employees make for poor customer service? Considering the limited resources and manpower that small businesses have, maintaining a healthy and motivated workforce becomes even more critical.

It is best to start small, especially with important wellness programs to improve employee health. This will help to integrate new concepts into your company.

How to create wellness programs for small businesses?

1. Learn the wants and needs of your employees.

Asking your staff what wellness activities they desire and need is the greatest approach to finding out! Executive decisions are important- but what's crucial is to solicit your employees' input on these activities.

By requesting feedback from your staff, you can foster a sense of community among them. Doing so will help you determine their interest in certain ideas and concerns. Include a survey question asking your employees about their interest in particular events and activities.

For this, employee engagement solutions like pulse survey tools can be useful. These tools are apps and software services that can send a series of questions to receive fast employee feedback.

Here is a screenshot of our Vantage Pulse Survey tool. HR professionals may better manage the workforce using Vantage Pulse, an eNPS-based pulse survey tool.

If Vantage Pulse piques your interest, schedule a demo and come on board.

2. Consider the nine dimensions of wellness.

nine dimensions of wellness

To design the most beneficial program for your business, consider all facets of well-being while developing an employee wellness program. Think about initiatives that concentrate on one or more of the following nine dimensions of wellness:

  1. Physical
  2. Intellectual
  3. Emotional
  4. Spiritual
  5. Financial
  6. Social
  7. Occupational
  8. Environmental
  9. Cultural

3. Select the ideal activities and incentives.

employees doing activities

One of the most important elements of a successful wellness program is providing employees with activities and incentives they enjoy. It should also align with your wellness goals. Consider the diversity, needs, preferences, interests, and accessibility of facilities of your workforce.

You must also consider how you will encourage your staff to participate and remain committed to your program. Ensure your incentives are reasonable, consistent, and in line with the goals of your program before using them. You can use a range of incentives, including cash prizes, gift cards, discounts, recognition, or gamification.

Some more things to consider are listed below -

To encourage your employees to participate and maintain their commitment to the program, Vantage Fit, our in-house fitness app, offers a variety of incentivization options.

You can leverage its built-in tools and features to design a comprehensive rewards system. These incentives motivate employees to engage in healthy activities.

4. Define success and how to track it.

Man climbing ladder

After choosing the programs, you must determine how you will gauge the success of these initiatives. For example, participation in the program, decreased absences, improved employee satisfaction?

Every organization has different wellness objectives. What you decide to track will often depend on your overall wellness objectives.

After defining success, choose the metrics that demonstrate the program's efficacy. For instance, if you wanted to reduce absenteeism, you could measure it by the number of leaves taken. Or, if improving employee morale is your top objective, you may monitor changes in how employees respond to surveys about their level of job satisfaction.

Whatever your target result, it's better to measure it quantitatively to ensure the program has the desired impact.

5. Hire a wellness vendor.

wellness vendor vantage fit

Hiring a wellness vendor is the last alternative. A company that wants its wellness program to be successful has to hire someone with the knowledge and time to do the necessary tasks.

This demand could be satisfied by a wellness vendor, who could also do it at a reasonable cost.

Onboarding Vantage Fit as a wellness vendor can be a valuable solution for companies aiming to ensure the success of their wellness program. Vantage Fit brings expertise and specialized tools to the table. It allows you to benefit from the extensive resources available on the platform.

Furthermore, you can achieve cost-effectiveness by choosing Vantage Fit as your wellness vendor. This platform offers its services at a reasonable cost making it an attractive option for companies looking to maximize the value of their wellness program investment.

Small Business Wellness Program Ideas

In today's competitive business environment, small businesses are under more pressure than ever to attract and retain top talent. One way to do this is to offer a comprehensive wellness program that helps employees stay healthy and productive.

Ideas Considering Physical Wellness

1. Incentivize Physical Wellness

Physical wellness incentives

Incentivize employees by rewarding them for taking the most steps, using the stairs, meditating, or going to the gym frequently. The winners can be rewarded with gift cards and vouchers.

Challenges based on team-based activities aid in preserving social connections. This also develops friendships with colleagues.

2. Provide On-Site Health Assessments

health assessment

Regular health examinations are an excellent benefit. By doing this, it's possible to evaluate the health hazards to employees and identify any issues immediately.

Undiagnosed problems with heart health, cholesterol, blood sugar, or blood pressure can negatively affect the body. On-site health screening and assessment services help you find the most pressing problems and recommend healthy lifestyle adjustments.

In addition, they can save lives. For instance, heart disease is the most common cause of mortality in the US. However, just 38% of people are aware of their blood pressure.

Ideas Considering Mental and Emotional Wellness

3. Meditation


Meditation aids in bringing the mind to a condition of neutrality and relaxation. It is especially useful in situations that frustrate staff members and cause them to lose their cool. Meditating at work will assist your staff in managing their emotions more effectively.

4. Set Time Aside For Mindfulness And Relaxation

Mindfulness with vantage fit

Strategies for promoting mindfulness include:

  • Implementing frequent breaks. Your staff members may take a real lunch break away from their desks, at the very least. However, it would be best to urge them to take short breaks throughout the day to stretch or go for short walks.
  • Establishing a calm area where individuals can reflect or go to unwind briefly.
  • Creating a bi-weekly or monthly newsletter with mindfulness exercises. For example, advice on managing stress, moving more, and improving your diet.
  • Have a worker that meditates in their leisure time already? You can suggest that they lead a few meditation sessions at the office.

In addition to incorporating techniques for office meditation, you can further enhance your wellness program by onboarding Vantage Fit's mindfulness and meditation feature. This feature provides a valuable tool to combat negative characteristics. Such as workplace stress, anxiety, and sadness while promoting emotional stability and well-being.

These practices are useful in situations that may frustrate employees and cause them to lose their composure. Your staff can effectively manage their emotions by incorporating meditation into the workday. This will also help to maintain a sense of calm and focus.

This holistic approach to wellness can lead to a more productive and harmonious work environment.

Ideas Considering Spiritual Wellness

5. Wellness Days With A Specific Theme

Allocate dedicated wellness days that allow employees to take time off for spiritual activities. Incorporate days with a specific wellness theme, like "Mindful Mondays" or "Wellness Wednesdays." Establishing a weekly ritual around these days can encourage your staff to prioritize their well-being.

You can also send the employees a brief guided meditation tape at the beginning of each week. Encourage them to pursue activities that align with their spiritual beliefs or values.

6. Inspirational Speaker Series

Invite inspirational speakers from various spiritual backgrounds to share their wisdom and experiences. These sessions can provide insights, motivation, and a broader perspective on life and personal growth.

Ideas Considering Financial Wellness

7. Establish A Discount Program For Employees.

A great way to assist employees in saving their money is to offer corporate discounts. Some companies allow employees to buy products and educational services through payroll deductions. Such initiatives help employees take control of their finances by enforcing spending limits.

8. Emergency Funds

Emergency fund

Your financial plan must include a work-sponsored emergency fund as one of its features. It is essential to protect your employees from any unanticipated financial emergencies. You can also create an employee savings plan to account for this.

Such saving strategies are quite beneficial in times of need. Additionally, you can save a percentage of your income and create such a fund. This fund can be distributed to employees who require financial aid for various causes. These include mishaps, pregnancies, family issues, etc.

Bottom Line

The possibilities for forward-thinking, employee-focused wellness initiatives are endless. It depends on your company's size, industry, age, budget, and culture, as well as the matching characteristics of its staff.

Poor lifestyle choices or health choices put businesses across the country at peril. Preventing them can benefit your company culture with high returns on investment.

A wellness program is not unaffordable just because your company is small. With some of the instances above, it is obvious that not all programs need to be expensive or sophisticated to function. The key is to customize them to meet the demands of your staff and your business capabilities.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


1. Why should small businesses invest in wellness programs?

Investing in wellness programs can lead to numerous benefits for small businesses. These programs can -

2. Can small businesses afford wellness programs?

Wellness programs can be tailored to fit the budget of small businesses. Some cost-effective options are -

  • Partnering with local fitness centers
  • Implementing online resources
  • Offering wellness-related incentives and rewards.

3. How can small businesses measure the effectiveness of their wellness programs?

Small businesses can measure the effectiveness of their wellness programs through various metrics. Such as -

  • Tracking participation rates
  • Employee satisfaction surveys
  • Health risk assessments
  • Health screenings
  • Analyzing changes in absenteeism rates.

This article is written by Ritushree R Singh, who is a content writer and marketer at Vantage Circle. Besides having a curious heart with an avid taste for music, she relishes traveling to new places and exploring different cultures whenever possible. To get in touch, reach out to editor@vantagecircle.com

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