As the employee and recruitment landscape changes in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, employers are doing their best to find creative opportunities to hire–and retain–high-quality employees. Large and small companies alike are struggling to find new talent, and are implementing strategies that include sign-on bonuses, increasing base pay, implementing remote working options, or instilling cultures of diversity or flexibility to attract new employees.

Prospective employees’ perspectives of what makes a good place are evolving, and now more than ever, the workforce seeks companies that care about their health and well-being.

  • A 2022 article by Gallup explains that 61% of employees rate better personal well-being as “very important,” compared to 53% in 2015.
  • A recent article by Forbes describes a Global Talent Trends search that found 1 in 2 employees desiring a greater focus on well-being at their company, including an emphasis on physical, psychological, and financial wellness.
  • A 2021 report by WTW and highlighted in a 2022 SHRM article indicated that while 86% of employers recognize the importance of prioritizing health and wellness, only 26% had implemented a well-being program or strategy.

The Challenges Small Companies Face in Implementing a Well-Being Strategy

There are many challenges small companies may face when implementing a well-being strategy.

  • Administrative costs. First and foremost, small companies may not have the financial resources to hire someone–or add to the bandwidth of a current employee–to create and manage a well-being strategy.
  • Strategizing. A small company also may not have the ability to attain the expert resources and consultation to design an effective well-being strategy.
  • Motivation. While larger companies understand the need to differentiate themselves by implementing group wellness programs, small companies are more likely to lack the motivation to implement this strategy to attract and retain talent.
  • Program minimums. Many of the more well-known group wellness program platforms require a level of buy-in that may not be practical for small groups and companies. This can stymie a conversation about wellness programs before they even begin.

However, despite these challenges, there are solutions that not only help small companies implement group wellness programs, but to stand out from their competition by doing so.

The Key to Well-Being Programs in Small Companies

The wants and needs of employees seeking employment by a small company do not change based on company size. However, since it’s more difficult for small employers to meet these needs, the talent pool may unnecessarily shrink for small companies as they are unable to provide the same level of benefits and programs that a larger company could provide. However, many small companies do not realize that programs that help to fulfill prospective employees’ needs and desire for improved well-being priorities in the workplace can be attainable, affordable–and effective.

  1. Don’t start from scratch. Well-being programs can be complicated to design, harder to implement, and even more difficult to succeed. The time and energy that go into designing a wellness program for a small company on your own can be excessive, and may result in time being wasted if the program fizzles out. A pre-existing well-being program takes the guesswork out of designing a program and has a higher likelihood of success. It can also be less expensive to use an out-of-the-box solution as opposed to the time, labor, and resources to create a program on your own.
  2. Seek a program specializing in small companies. Large group wellness programs may have higher prices, minimum buy-in, and more that can be hurdles for small companies. Instead, seeking a group wellness program specializing in small companies can be much more cost-effective–and flexible–than the larger brands.
  3. Start small. Choose a small group wellness program that makes management simple and easy so you don’t have to spend excessive time or resources managing the program. It can also be helpful to find a program that is flexible and can grow with you as a company, adding features that fit your company’s needs now and in the future.

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