New Study Fills Critical Research Gap, Highlights Workplace Wellness Strategies for Small and Mid-Sized Businesses

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Study identifies 19 key workplace wellness strategies that apply to SMBs

Effective and Viable Workplace Wellness Strategies

Effective and Viable Workplace Wellness Strategies

A new study, “Workplace Wellness Strategies for Small Businesses,” published in the 10th edition of the International Journal of Workplace Health Management, identifies 19 key workplace wellness strategies that apply to small and mid-size businesses (SMBs). Up until now, the bulk of available academic research regarding corporate wellness has focused on large enterprises (businesses with over 1,000 employees). This new study, authored by Michael Rucker, Ph.D., provides fresh insights for organizations with 1,000 employees or fewer that can help these businesses improve or establish employee wellness programs.

Considering that a majority of United States employees work for small or mid-sized companies, corporate wellness recommendations of this kind are well overdue. Although the validity of a hard return on investment (ROI) of such programs is now heavily debated, almost all agree that these programs are generally valuable when considering harder-to-measure success metrics like productivity, employee vitality and morale. SMB employee wellness programs are also at the forefront because of national discussions about employer-sponsored health plans and the future of the Affordable Care Act.

Strategies that work at scale for larger organizations are not always applicable to SMBs because of the idiosyncrasies and special traits of smaller companies. “Workplace Wellness Strategies for Small Businesses” addresses the unique needs of SMB workplace wellness programs and describes the elements that provide for successful workplace wellness programs in these settings.

The study identifies five overarching themes:

  • Innovation
  • Company culture
  • Employee-centric
  • Environment
  • Altruism

Presented within these five themes are 19 strategies critical to effective SMB workplace wellness programs, many of which run counter to conventional wisdom. For instance, it is generally prescribed by wellness vendors that managers should personally promote wellness initiatives, acting as wellness “role models” within the organization. However, in SMBs senior leaders are often the original technicians who built the company and not particularly well-equipped to act as wellness figureheads. Nonetheless, they find other innovative ways to make their programs successful. Another interesting finding is the adapting and evolving nature of these programs and that a one-size-fits-all approach largely does not work at the SMB level.

To learn more about this study and how to improve workplace wellness, please visit: http://michaelrucker.com/workplace-wellness/strategies-smbs.

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Michael Rucker
@performbetter
since: 06/2009
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Mike Rucker
since: 12/2015
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