According to the article “10 small business wellness tips” by contributor Carol Phillips on the New Hampshire Business Review website, businesses naturally want their employees to be fully productive all the time. But during those inevitable times when employees are ill, productivity drops and the company starts to lose money. You can, however, reduce how often employees are ill by promoting a culture of employee wellness.

“‘We can’t afford a wellness program.’ I hear this on a regular basis,” Phillips says, “and it immediately tells me this particular company doesn’t understand the value and purpose of an effective wellness program. … The purpose of a quality wellness program is to prevent and recover those [monetary] losses.”

As such, Phillips provides 10 tips for promoting employee wellness and keeping your profits up:

  • Understand that your greatest asset can also be your greatest cost. According to a 2011 Gallup poll in which 110,000 employees were surveyed, unhealthy employees cost American businesses $153 billion. However, this poll does not include presenteeism, in which employees come to work ill, but are not as productive.
  • Change your attitude about costs. See that supporting employee wellness is actually a return on investment and can help grow your business.
  • Treat employees even better than clients. Just greeting employees verbally, asking how they are and providing support networks can make them feel as appreciated as, if not more than, customers.
  • Promote a healthy workplace culture. In addition to any health insurance plans you provide, make sure that employees can see that you are actively concerned about their and their families’ wellness. The actions your business takes surrounding wellness should reflect this care.
  • Be a model. Instead of pushing healthy habits down their throats, be a model instead by following these habits yourself and supplying what they need to stay healthy. People balk from being told to do something.
  • Track your program. By keeping tabs on the return of investment for your wellness program, you can rectify any problems that arise and make more investments in the future.
  • Promote employee happiness. Happiness not only reduces stress, but it also leads to overall wellness in general. Employees who are happy will work harder and give more effort than those who feel that employers are using them for all they’ve got.
  • Encourage employee participation. Employees feel valued when they can give their opinions or contribute to a company’s success. Those who feel like they are just a drone worker are more likely to take sick days or even find a new employer. Listening to employees is one of the most important aspects of your job as an employer.
  • Talk to your health benefits provider regularly. Find out if they offer and new benefits and wellness packages. If wellness is not their top priority, perhaps you should find a new provider.
  • Have fun with employees. The best balance in life is between work and play, and all employees need some downtime. If employees only have fun outside of work, if can generate negative views of the workplace, decrease productivity and increase stress. Not only does setting aside some relaxing time for your employees reduce the risk of health problems, but it also lets you build relationships with them.

Find the original article here.