Workplace wellness is having its moment. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, 63% of US companies offer some sort of wellness program and 8% plan to add one this year. To remain competitive at recruiting new talent, on-site health programming is becoming a must-have benefit. For smaller companies with smaller budgets, this can seem out of reach, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are 6 ways you can maximize impact on a budget.

  1. Offer group fitness classes. Fitness classes are the most cost-effective way to bring wellness into your company. Offering a yoga, Zumba or bootcamp class doesn’t require any special equipment and can be done in a cleared-out conference room. For a reasonable hourly rate you’ll be able to accommodate as many interested employees as you have the space for.
  2. Facilitate clubs. Find out what activities your employees are already interested in, and then offer to support an employee-led club around it. Meditation or running clubs are great examples, and require just an employee advocate and promotional support from the company.
  3. Try quarterly events. If you have some budget to work with, offer more expensive wellness events on a quarterly, rather than a weekly, basis. On-site chair massages and nutritionist led lunch-and-learns are good candidates.
  4. Use employee co-pays. Many employees are so eager to have access to on-site options, that they are willing to chip in their own money for it. At one of our clients, 61.5% of the employees surveyed were willing to pay an average of $18.87 out of their own pocket for a 15-minute on-site chair massage.
  5. Get a wellness grant. Many states offer grants or tax incentives to small companies looking to implement wellness programs. For example, the state of Ohio offers companies a grant of up to $300 per participating employee over a four-year period.
  6. Calculate your ROI. The amount that you invest in your wellness program can save you money in other areas. Looking at your potential ROI might be a way to free up some budget to get your program online. Wellness programs have been shown to have an impact on workplace injuries, stress and burn-out, health care costs and productivity levels, just to name a few.

You don’t have to have the resources of a Fortune 500 company to provide healthy activities to your employees, and many of these solutions can be implemented in very little time. There’s nothing stopping you from starting the new year off with a new wellness program.

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