published Sunday, January 27th, 2013

Small businesses tackle job stress

Today’s tough economic environment would give anyone a headache. America’s workforce faces increasing pressures to meet the bottom line and achieve financial results with less, particularly small businesses. So it’s no wonder that small-business owners’ most pressing wellness concerns include stress and employees’ sick days, as identified through a recent study of more than 1,000 small-business owners and decision-makers. High employee stress ranks No. 1.

The national study by Humana Inc., one of the nation’s leading health care companies, and the National Small Business Association (NSBA), America’s leading small business advocate — offers some insights into today’s current small business wellness environment. The study found that while an overwhelming 93 percent of small business owners consider employees’ physical and mental health as contributors to business results, only one-third are confident in their ability to help employees manage their health and wellness.

If you work for a small business, there is a good chance that your employer doesn’t have a health and wellness program in place. Only 22 percent of small businesses offer their employees access to such options. But among those that do, 85 percent think these types of offerings are worth the investment. Three in four say such programs enhance their profits.

So why aren’t more small business owners embracing wellness initiatives as bottom-line boosters? (Wellness initiatives are considered those that encourage employees to make healthier choices such as getting preventive care, eating right and exercising.)

More than half say enough information isn’t available about starting and using health and wellness programs.

— ARAContent

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