Stress. We all deal with it every day, constantly finding better ways to deal with it, cope with it, release it, but we rarely think of the long term effects it has on our bodies, or our careers. However, for small business owners employee stress is a top concern. According to a national survey done by Humana Inc., 93% of small business owners consider employees’ physical and mental health as contributors to their bottom line. Managing employee stress and the negative effects is has on health is crucial for small business owners. The effects of stress can decrease employee productivity, increase absenteeism, and hurt a company's culture and business results. According to the Humana survey only 22% of the small business owners surveyed offer Health and Wellness programs, while 85% of those surveyed believe that these programs are worth the investment. Implementing Health and Wellness programs can help manage employee stress, increase productivity, and decrease absenteeism. Offering small incentives for employees who reach various health and wellness goals, such as a goal weight, lowering blood pressure or mitigating risks of other conditions that can become serious and costly, can provide that supportive
pat on the back that employees need to lose those few extra pounds, or take an active role in managing their stress. Incentives can be as inexpensive as a small denomination gift card to a health-promoting retailer such as
GNC. An small investment like this can be just enough to show employees that the organization they work for supports and commends them for their hard work. Health and Wellness programs are a win-win investment for organizations, improving their workforce while helping to control long term health care costs.