5 Ways Small Businesses Can Keep Employees Healthy

With fewer employees in the company, small businesses are seeking more ways to keep their professionals healthy.

Michael W. Zuna, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of Aflac U.S., points out that “70 percent of health costs among working adults are incurred due to behavioral habits such as smoking, diet and a sedentary lifestyle. Yet only 35 percent of employers are offering wellness programs to combat those tendencies,” according to the 2013 Aflac WorkForces Report.

To help small businesses improve their employees’ wellness, Zuna offers tips on “How to Implement Effective Employee Wellness Programs”:

  • “Make Sure the Program is Comprehensive. Make sure it encompasses key areas of employees’ everyday lifestyles. It’s important to focus on a healthy workplace and community, healthy eating habits and stress management.”
  • “Engage Employees. Emphasize results rather than participation. For instance, instead of giving traditional incentives, such as payment for gym memberships, require employees to pass biometric screenings to receive discounts on health insurance premiums and other perks.”
  • “Promote Healthy Eating. Bring in nutritionists to speak to employees during lunch, organize after-work healthy cooking classes for the office or communicate healthy lifestyle tips. Also, encourage healthy snacking by placing fruit bowls around the office or stocking the office refrigerator with yogurt and vegetables.”
  • “Market the Wellness Program to Employees. Instead of sporadically mentioning the availability of a wellness program, actively promote a culture of well-being and health through outlets and venues that are most popular to them. Post flyers on bulletin boards or send out weekly/monthly emails with wellness tips and exercise events.”
  • “Promote Financial Health. Don’t stop at physical health. Encourage employees to become savvy savers, spenders and investors. Help them to truly understand all of the options available so they make educated decisions based on their lifestyle. More knowledge about living a financially savvy lifestyle will reduce stress-levels, allowing personnel to concentrate more on their work rather than fret about monetary concerns.”