How to implement workplace wellness in small businesses?

How to implement workplace wellness in small businesses?

The smaller the company size, the more the opportunities for teammates to understand each other’s styles better and help everyone grow and maximize their potential together. You must have heard of ‘start small, grow big’ and it is true in every sense. When you start a business on a small level, you have the opportunity to really get to know all your employees and understand how the company can also benefit them in achieving their professional goals.

The smaller size of employees also means that every employee associated with it shares an important responsibility and commitment towards achieving the company's goal. Healthy practices that foster individual and commercial growth result in greater ROIs and can improve employee satisfaction. 

Let’s take a look at why implementing a wellness program in your organization will go a long way.

  1. Small businesses were the first ones to get affected during the COVID-19 pandemic. Changes that happen around the globe due to wars, market crashes, climate change, and political decisions keep affecting the economy and naturally businesses. Unfortunately, most of these factors lie outside our area of control and it can be confusing and overwhelming to navigate things when you’re a small team.
  2. Absenteeism can have a large impact on smaller businesses. When you are running a start-up, you would find yourself and the people along with you trying to juggle between a lot of roles and responsibilities. Even if one person is absent, it can impact and possibly slow down the work.
  3. When you are starting, initial challenges and failures can weigh heavy and create an overall negative impact on the company’s productivity and morale between the employees. The tendency to give up or switch jobs can also be noticed within the employees.

What is a wellness program?

A wellness program is a dedicated program that helps you be equipped to deal with challenges that you will face in your work and personal life. These programs extend beyond just yoga sessions and stress-buster activities and help employees create meaningful relationships with themselves and the people they work with. 

When we talk about wellness, it is not just physical well-being but also mental and emotional well-being. It is usually determined by the level of emotional safety and security felt by a person, their motivation levels, and their ability to maintain a work-life balance and tackle problems with resilience.

There are no strict rules as to what programs would and would not come under the realm of wellness programs. Your employees’ needs usually decide what wellness programs would benefit them. That is why for a small business, it is essential to keep the channels of communication open between your employees. You should also pay close attention to their feedback and suggestions because they are the indicators of your employees' needs.

For example, if your company deals in healthcare and if your employees spend a lot of time sitting in a cubicle or visiting ill people’s houses gathering information about the side effects of a particular drug and researching new drugs, it is possible that the employees must be exposed to a lot of sensitive and possibly disturbing information that can impact them mentally and create health anxiety.

In this example, implementing an art-based de-stressing program where the employees get to spend ample time in nature observing things, colors and wonders of the world can actually help create a healing and calming effect on them.

It is okay if your organization cannot spend a lot of funds initially on implementing wellness programs that can cover employee insurance or give them incentives. There are still ways through which you can extend them support. A simple secret is to pause, learn, and reflect. 

Pause to talk to your employees, and get to know them, their stories, and their struggles. Learn about their goals and future plans and reflect on what the company can do for them. Even the smallest efforts get counted if you have the right intention at heart. 

Different kinds of wellness programs

Activity-based wellness programs

Indoor work and online work can create fatigue and feelings of isolation amongst the employees. To beat that, a wellness program can be an activity-based program that involves stress buster activities, art-based activities, some fun outdoor activities, and theme-based activities that are fun and light and also encourage team bonding and feelings of cooperation and achievement. These activities are planned in such a way that after every activity, everyone gets to take away something important and valuable that they can hold onto during challenging times. 

Reflective and introspective programs

These can include a small introductory session or a talk that explains certain important concepts and debunks myths around the topic. These programs are often helpful for people to come up with questions and introspect. These programs are a great way to check in with your own needs and re-prioritize your goals. These kinds of programs encourage you to think, ask questions, and reflect.

Interactive programs

These wellness programs include a range of topics that can create awareness and help in developing sensitivity amongst employees regarding important topics. An important range of topics like seeking professional help from a counselor, annual health checkups, understanding the benefits of healthy habits and discipline in life, meditation, and mindfulness can be covered in such programs. These talks also have dedicated time for Q&A sessions that help everyone gain authentic information from the experts in the field. It helps in building supportive resources that everyone can make use of while coping with adverse situations.