What if there was a way to reduce turnover, boost productivity, and cut your healthcare costs? Sounds like it’s too good to be true, right? It’s not. There’s one tool that has been shown in a wide range of studies to achieve all three of those goals.

It’s a company wellness plan. Traditionally, company wellness plans have only been offered by large corporations. However, in recent years, many third party wellness plan management firms have developed packages that work for small businesses.Runner feet and shoes

A wellness plan is a formal system in which your employees earn rewards for living a healthy lifestyle. For example, they may earn extra compensation for quitting smoking or extra vacation time for exercising regularly. Many companies offer discounts on health insurance premiums if employees get annual physicals.

Many shops and other small businesses resist wellness plans because they can’t see a direct, immediate return on the investment or they’re afraid that their employees won’t participate. However, the great thing about wellness plans is that they’re flexible. You can shape your plan to align with your budget and your employees’ interest.

Think a wellness plan might be right for your shop? Here are a few tips to get you started:

Talk to your employees.

As mentioned, the biggest threat to the success of the wellness plan is that your employees don’t participate. If that happens, you’d be paying for the administration of the plan without getting the primary benefits – healthier and happier team members.

You can minimize this risk by discussing the potential plan with your employees. Find out where their interests lie. What kinds of rewards would motivate them? Compensation? Longer lunches? More vacation time? Special rewards like gift cards or event tickets?

Also ask them what activities and goals are of most interest. You can cater the plan to meet almost any activity. You could reward activities for going to the gym or even for taking walks on their lunch break. You can offer rewards for participating in a group weight loss challenge or for stopping smoking.

The specific activities and rewards don’t really matter as long as they are compelling for your employees and they encourage healthier lifestyles. Collaborate with your employees to develop a plan that works for everyone.

Hire a third-party manager.

You have enough on your plate with running your shop. You don’t need to manage a wellness plan on top of your other responsibilities. And the truth is, wellness plans are often too complex to manage in-house.

There are many firms that specialize in designing, implementing, and managing small business wellness plans. They can help you pick the right activities and rewards to maximize your health insurance savings. They can also coordinate information with your insurance provider to leverage all possible discounts.

Perhaps most importantly, a third-party firm can ensure privacy for your employees. They probably don’t want their boss to know sensitive health information, such as their weight or the results of their physical. If you use a third-party, those details never reach your desk and stay confidential.

Implement systems to track the results.

Ultimately, you’ll want to be able to track the ROI of your wellness plan. Your plan management company and your health insurance company should be able to provide information about healthcare savings.

There could be other benefits, though. Some studies have shown an uptick in efficiency and productivity as a result of wellness plans. Machine shop software like E2 can help you collect the data you need to see changes in productivity in real time. That can help you measure your wellness plan ROI and make decisions about expanding the program.
A wellness plan could help you attract and retain skilled workers, increase your productivity, and get your healthcare costs under control. Explore the idea with your employees and wellness plan companies in your area. And don’t forget to use shop software so you can track the improvements in your efficiency and your bottom line.