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While most small businesses don’t offer health and wellness programs to their employees, three of four that offer such programs do find the initiatives have a positive impact on their bottom line. That’s one of the key conclusions of a study of more than 1,000 small-business owners by Humana Inc., one of the nation’s leading health and well-being companies, and the National Small Business Association (NSBA), America’s longest-running small business advocacy organization.
The study, Workplace Wellness Programs in Small Businesses: Impacting the Bottom Line, aimed to uncover health and wellness needs and barriers facing small businesses in today’s post-recession business recovery. Key findings include:
(Note: This survey defined health and wellness programs as initiatives aimed at encouraging employees to make healthier choices such as getting preventative care, eating right and exercising.)
“For 50 years, five behavioral issues have consumed an estimated 80 percent of the nation’s health care budget – poor diet, stress coupled with inactivity, smoking and drinking. Humana understands small businesses’ role in supporting our economy and we are committed to helping these employers and their employees combat such issues and achieve lifelong well-being,” said Jerry Ganoni, President of Humana’s Small Business Division. “We’re encouraged that employers recognize the importance of wellness programs, and through our collaboration with the NSBA intend to provide information that small businesses can use to help address the wellness barriers they identified.”
Small-Business Startups Most Likely to Provide Wellness Programs
A key factor in small business owners’ decision about whether or not to introduce a health and wellness program rests with employee interest.
“Wellness solutions likely will be an increasingly important part of the employee value proposition,” said Ganoni. “It will be crucial for the industry to focus on providing small-business owners with the information they need to make the wellness decisions necessary to recruit and retain employees while making an a meaningful impact on their bottom lines.”
Stress as Top Concern for Employee Well-being
While often focused on physical health, well-being programs can impact mental health too.
“This study reveals a unique set of concerns and challenges small-business owners face to make employee wellness a reality particularly in today’s tough business environment. For instance, high employee stress and employee psychological well-being are the top two concerns for small-business decision-makers,” said Todd McCracken, NSBA president and CEO. “This new information shows that small businesses seek better information to make health and wellness a reality for small businesses. Workplace wellness programs can play a role in making quality affordable health care accessible for small-business owners and their employees.”
The study was conducted by third-party research vendor, Edelman Berland, between late June and July, 2012. The margin of error on the overall sample is +/-3.1%.
Humana Inc., headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky, is a leading health care company that offers a wide range of insurance products and health and wellness services that incorporate an integrated approach to lifelong well-being. By leveraging the strengths of its core businesses, Humana believes it can better explore opportunities for existing and emerging adjacencies in health care that can further enhance wellness opportunities for the millions of people across the nation with whom the company has relationships.
More information regarding Humana is available to investors via the Investor Relations page of the company’s web site at www.humana.com, including copies of:
Celebrating its 75th anniversary, NSBA is a staunchly nonpartisan organization advocating on behalf of America’s entrepreneurs. NSBA’s 65,000 members represent every state and every industry in the U.S., and we are proud to be the nation’s first small-business advocacy organization. In addition to advocating for entrepreneurs, NSBA conducts a comprehensive nation-wide survey of small businesses. This survey, coupled with more targeted surveys, enables us to have our ﬁnger on the pulse of small business in America. In addition to a broad national membership, NSBA serves as an umbrella group to several regional, state and local small business organizations and two national councils with expertise in exporting and technology. For more information on NSBA, please visit www.nsba.biz.