The Other Half of Financial Planning for Small Businesses: Wellness Programs
I’m a firm believer that financial wellness and overall wellness work strongly together. Not only will employees call out sick less if they are healthier, but employees work harder for employers that care about them. A statistic in the Harvard Business Review shows sales people were over a third more effective who had wellness programs in their office.
Here’s what you need to plan a wellness program that’s rewarding for you and your staff:
1. Knowing your employee base is the most important aspect.
Benefits packages should be tailored to the individual needs of your employees. Just because your workforce is in their twenties and thirties doesn’t mean childcare will be their main concern. They may prefer group outings or a dog friendly office. A gym membership reimbursement program is good for everyone while weight watchers in office meetings should be based on whether your employees want or need it. Your financial planner should be able to talk to you about wellness programs and be able to refer you to someone who specialized in their development.
2. Include gym memberships, but cap the price at a reasonable amount.
Healthier employees take less sick days. Providing a gym membership helps employees stay healthier and think healthier about their company. Larger gyms and boutique gyms offer discounts to employees of companies that approach them. The best part about offering a gym membership is the discount itself that you negotiate is a perk. If reimbursing memberships, you can set a limit of $50 to $100. If an employee chooses a pricier fitness experience, they can pay the difference.
3. Create a volunteerism program that fits your employees’ needs and interests
You want your employees to give back to the community, and group activities can help your company’s visibility. However, not every employee may pick the same charity. Show you care about their ideas by offering volunteer days where they can ick their own cause from an approved list of charities.
4. Offer Child care reimbursement
Depending on the size of your company, on site child care might be too expensive or unrealistic with space constraints. But you can set a reasonable budget for much you’ll provide for off sight childcare and arrange discounts with select daycare services. Don’t eliminate the option for employees to choose their own daycare service. It’s a much better perk if they can choose a higher priced one as well and pay the difference.
5. Pet friendly offices
Opening up your office to furry friends is a wonderful idea, until one of your best employees quits because of severe allergies. Before you consider this as a change of policy ask employees individually about both whether they’d like their dogs to come to work with them and if any one does have sever allergies. You can create a policy of only hypoallergenic dogs if that’s the case. You can also set behavioral standards such as being on leash and minimal barking. You should also set policies on whether dogs can attend team meetings.