How To Build A Successful Small Business Wellness Program

Lessons learned in making sustainable wellness branding fun


Four out of ten businesses have a wellness program.  A Harvard University study found that a wellness program can generate $3.27 in reduced medical costs and $2.73 in reduced absenteeism cost for each dollar spent on wellness.  Wellness grows profits!

Wellness Program Costs And Features

The type of activities used by companies implementing wellness programs often include:

  • Work associate training and educational outreach programs
  • Annual health and wellness assessments
  • Lifestyle choices counseling
  • Paying associates to lose weight and exercise
  • Hosting motivating special events like contests or exercise campaigns
  • Provision of onsite exercise workout space or funding of health club memberships.

Among companies that have wellness programs the annual cost ranges between $100 to $300 per work associate.

Weight Loss Is Number One Wellness Challenge

Weight loss is the number one wellness issue. We are in a national weight crisis. The business bottomline is that business costs like absenteeism and health insurance premiums are going up because of this national weight crisis.

The challenge is how to help work associates lose weight. This is a challenge because promoting dieting as a solution typically does not work. The reasons are obvious to all of us that have tried dieting and failed.  Diets do not work because they make us hungry.

Diets do not work because they make us eat foods we do not enjoy and in doing so, threaten our social engagements.

Imagine the attendance if you host a party where you only serve diet food and water?

The most telling reason dieting does not work is that it is stressful. Stress is a recognized to cause of weight gain so the inherent conflict of dieting is that it generates stress that makes us crave comfort food to reduce our stress.

The question confronting every business’ wellness program is how to enable work associates to achieve sustained weight loss.

Lessons Learned From Sustainable Branding

Marketing efforts to spark consumer purchases of more sustainable products that often cost more than less sustainable products is a comparable challenge to motivating work associates to lose weight and exercise. In both cases you are trying to change behavior where there appears to be a short term added cost with longer term benefits.

The sustainable branding lessons learned in confronting this challenge have application to the successful execution of a wellness program.

The three key lessons learned by sustainable branding’s attempts to shift consumer behaviors from buying less sustainable products to buying more sustainable products are:

1.You cannot educated them into changing

2.You cannot trick or scare them into changing

3. You can get them to change if the process is fun, funny and enjoyable.

Next- Four ways to make weight loss fun

Bill Roth
Bill Roth
Bill Roth is a nationally-recognized business coach that has successfully worked with hundreds of business owners and leaders on proven green best practices that win new customers, grow product revenues and cut costs. He brings to this coaching his past experience as a senior officer leading teams that developed the first hydrogen fueled Prius and the development of utility scale solar power plants. His best selling book The Secret Green Sauce, available on Amazon, profiles actual businesses using best practices in pricing, marketing, cost management and branding to make money and a difference. In 2020 Roth is conducting the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Green Builds Business program, sponsored by Toyota, where he will be providing free coaching to business leaders on how to use today’s exciting new clean technologies to win customers and cut costs.

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