If you’re a successful small business, you’re probably a busy one and your staff is likely always on their toes. Of course, being successful is paramount; after all, that’s why you came into business! The chief drivers of your success, your employees, are the resources that you need to care for the most. Your workplace teams can get overworked and that can certainly come back to hurt your business’s productivity.
Here are a few statistics for your consideration:
Stress often springs from increased workload, which gives rise to a host of other problems. It can result in mistakes/errors at work, which can lead to lost customers, decreased revenues; and a booming business can run into the ground.
Several small business have, therefore, made employee’s health and well-being a priority, and have framed and implemented policies that can help them stay in good shape. The secret to a successful team lies in the fact that their members are healthy both, mentally and physically.
If you’re a small or medium-sized business looking for inspiration before deploying measures to support employee wellbeing, then read on for a few examples:
Headquartered in Washington, D.C., Cava Grill has over 400 employees, who are well taken care of. Their food-loving employees often come in for a treat every day at work as they always find free dips and hummus (yum!) in their kitchen. What’s more? Those working in the headquarter office often get free Cava meals. This works well because they always have something delicious and healthy to try.
Cava also offers employees flexible working hours and organizes team-building activities like visits to the farm or breweries to keep things interesting. All new parents employed with Cava Grill are entitled to paid time off and sick leaves. Most of all, they conduct a month-long fitness and weight-loss challenge every year, at the end of which, employees/teams receive rewards in cash.
This PR firm based in New York employs over 250 people, all of who are entitled to free lunch, chair massages and yoga classes. And if you thought that was all, then here’s more: their employees also receive unrestricted personal and sick days along with a three-week paid vacation to ensure a healthy work-life balance.
The team unites every Thanksgiving over a potluck meal, which is great for enabling coworkers to bond with each other. The firm organizes the VitaminC3 health program, which offers nutritional assistance such as cooking classes and office fitness activities. This program ensures that employees get off their chairs and remain active, and not just stare at their screens all day.
If you have a pet, you can take it to work too! This is to help you turn pet/dog walker with an excuse to take a break from being stuck at your desk.
New York-based ClassPass is like a second home to over 170 employees and all of them are equipped with free membership to access its fitness activities such as yoga, Pilates, barre and cycling.
Eat healthy to stay healthy with free and nutritious breakfast on Fridays and lunch on Wednesdays. Take your pick from snacks such as Greek yogurt, chia pudding, almond butter, and fruits and nuts from their fully-stocked kitchen.
The firm allows its employees to take as much time off as they need as long as they get their tasks done in time. New moms can avail up to twelve paid weeks off, while new dads get up to four.
ClassPass also arranges for preventive care visits and exams, all of which are covered through health insurance. Further, a special social committee has been formed, which organizes wellness workshops every month.
ZocDoc is a New York-based medium-sized company which staffs over 600 employees. It offers 100 percent healthcare coverage to each employee. In office, they have standing desks and stability balls to help employees maintain correct posture and keep their blood flowing as they work. Further, free weekly in-office yoga classes and an open vacation policy allow employees to rest their body, mind and soul.
Munching on the free healthy snacks and catered lunches make for great excuses to get away from the work desk and move around. The annual company event called the Ollie Awards make sure that hard work gets rewarded and employees have a great time enjoying dance, music and skits written and performed by their colleagues.
All small businesses want their teams to be productive. It is understandable that they may not have a budget large enough to offer employees exorbitant and luxurious wellbeing packages. However, there are simple and sensible measures that can help engender productivity and engagement among employees. If this is important to you, read the following few productivity tips on keeping employees resourceful and vigorous.
The easiest and quickest way to create a healthy physical workplace is by getting chairs, desks and monitors that don’t make employees compromise on their health at least in terms of posture and lighting. Having such furniture in office will announce loud and clear to your staff that their health matters to the company. It can also motivate them to look after themselves better.
We know how being active is of utmost importance to good health and higher productivity. A lot of employees blame the lack of physical activity to long working hours and sitting all day. Change this by getting your staff to try a few exercises right at their desk. These are simple and low-intensity, yet effective exercise which can encourage physical activity and prevent several aches and pains.
Have a workplace health professional visit your office once every month as he/she can provide valuable advice to employers and employees regarding maintaining good health. He/she can also help raise health awareness, identify issues before they become problems and make recommendations accordingly. This, in turn, can result in early intervention of occupational diseases and quick return to work (of staff). Workplace health professionals can help organize proactive health promotion days with activities related to health surveillance.
A lot of people hesitate from reporting and seeking treatment for mental health issues due to the various stigmas attached to them. Removing such stigmas can be perceived as a supportive measure by affected employees. Stigmas within teams that work closely together can deter performance, trust and goodwill, thereby making the troubled member feel isolated. It is, therefore, necessary for employers to eradicate stigmas related to mental health.
Every business is different and so are its employees and issues. It is, therefore, suggested that small businesses always be prepared to tackle employee health issues rather than assume that they know what’s to be done at all times. Just because one solution worked for a particular business, does not imply that it will work for yours too. It is important to listen to your employees and not be afraid to hear what they have to say. Your staff will talk to you only when they’re convinced you care.
Your teams’ wellbeing is directly connected to your business’s bottom line, which is why it is important to look after your employees. Healthy employees work better and faster, and hence, have the potential to boost the company’s productivity. Practices and productivity tips followed by the small and medium businesses mentioned in this post should be able to provide you with ideas that may work well in your work environment too. Do implement the above tips for a win-win situation for everyone.
About the Author:
Swati is a qualified dietitian at Practo. She has a Masters degree in Dietetics and Food Service Management. She is a strong believer in spreading the goodness of ‘nutrition through healthy eating’. As a responsible dietitian Swati examines her patients’ health history carefully before recommending any diet or workout regimen, because everybody has different requirements.
Swati has also taken it upon herself to debunk myths in diet and fitness through practical advice in her articles. This helps her readers learn the essence of health eating and make the right choices in their daily diet. Swati has been helping people live healthy and active for the past 4 years, by recommending diet plans that fit individual preferences and health parameters.