Happy and Healthy Employees Equals Productivity


People make the world go round — including making your business run effectively. Employees are typically one of the most important parts to keeping your small business running day in and day out. As a small business owner, checking in with your employees to ensure they are happy and healthy is crucial to your company's culture and success. Not only does it improve their wellbeing, but it also creates a positive work environment and increases productivity. The last thing you want is employees feeling stressed and overwhelmed, leading to decreased work quality and personnel retention.

Below, we discuss five ways to keep employees happy and healthy, which leads to a better company culture, increased workforce performance and a thriving business.

Encourage breaks and exercise – Sitting at a desk for hours can take a toll on the body, leading to health issues such as back pain, eye strain and high blood pressure. Encourage your employees to take short breaks throughout the day, and perhaps even provide access to an onsite or local gym or fitness classes. If your current budget can’t offer a fitness benefit, scheduling a reoccurring “meeting” to move is a fun idea. Having 15 minutes daily to meditate or try a new core exercise together can be a team-building experience and excellent social time to bond; this will improve physical and mental health, reducing stress and improving focus.

Allow flexible scheduling – Life happens; sometimes, employees may need time off or a schedule change to accommodate personal obligations. Being flexible with scheduling shows employees you value their personal lives and trust them to manage their workload effectively. This can lead to improved morale and a happier, more committed workforce.

Provide healthy snacks and meals – Do you provide snacks or meals for your employees? If not, consider providing healthy snack options, such as fruit, popcorn, nuts and granola bars. For meals, you could consider partnering with a local restaurant for a healthy lunch to be delivered weekly or having access to a kitchen in the office where employees can prepare their meals. Often meals and snacks are something to look forward to during the workday, so why not make it special? A healthy diet improves physical and mental wellbeing, leading to more alert and focused employees.

Support work-life balance – Encourage your employees to leave work at work, not letting it interfere with home life, by setting clear boundaries and expectations. For example, allow employees to disconnect from work emails and calls outside office hours. Promote a culture of work-life balance, and your employees will be more engaged and motivated to come to work each day. It’s impossible to finish everything in a day; when work stops, it’ll always be there tomorrow. Using this mindset to influence your employees will help them ease stress and feel happier about work.

Create a positive work environment – A positive work culture can make all the difference in employee satisfaction. This means promoting open communication, providing opportunities for employee growth and development and recognizing and rewarding employee achievements. When employees feel valued and supported, they are more likely to stay with your company for the long term and produce high-quality work.

Keeping your employees happy and healthy is the right thing to do and is also an investment in your business's success. The five tips above can improve your employees' wellbeing and promote a positive work environment that encourages productivity, engagement and growth — leading to higher employee retention rates and more efficient and successful business practices. Remember, your employees are one of the most critical assets to your business, so take care of them and watch your company flourish.

The Southern Consumers Alliance helps small business owners, self-employed individuals and their families improve their businesses by removing the knowledge hurdles that can hinder their success. To explore how your comprehensive SCA benefits can help your small business, visit southernconsumers.org.