Increasingly today, more companies, including very small ones (e.g. under 50-100 employees), are putting more of an emphasis on employee health by implementing cost effective wellness programs. Most importantly, these programs need to be driven and continually supported by those at the top of the company ladder, according to a recent article in the LA Times. Here are a few key excerpts from the article – Here are a few key excerpts from the article:
Many corporations are now encouraging employees to move more during the workday: In an April survey by the corporate benefits group Workplace Options, 36% of employees said their jobs offered perks such as wellness coaches, on-site health screenings and fitness programs. And 70% of Fortune 200 companies offer physical fitness programs, according to the National Business Group on Health, with many saving on healthcare as a result.
“We’ve reached the point where doing nothing is unacceptable because people are really sick,” Levine said. “It is bizarre and inexplicable that we’ve gravitated into this crunched up, chair-based way of living.”
In the article, Levine points out that employee wellness programs can still be highly effective when implemented under a tight budget. This is especially important for small companies to remember when thinking about putting together an employee wellness program of their own. It does NOT need to be complicated or costly for it to work really well. The biggest key is not how much money a company spends on its program, but that it is driven and continually supported by those at the top with the ultimately goal of creating a “culture of wellness” among colleagues at the office:
Money, he says, is the main consideration for corporate leaders deciding on fitness programs. But small budgets aren’t necessarily a limitation, he added: “A small company with a small budget can do well if the will is great.” Some, Levine said, have adopted low-budget measures such as holding walking meetings or positioning printers farther from desks. Others have secured art gallery memberships so that workers can spend lunch breaks taking in Bonnard rather than the buffet.
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