Does your small business offer employees paid time off when they’re sick?
If you don’t, you may soon be required to do so. There has recently been a push to require employers to provide a few days each year for sick leave.
Starting in January, paid sick leave is required of federal contractors. Additionally, five states and another 29 cities have already begun to put regulations in place to provide their employees paid time off when ill. This is only the beginning, and experts suggest that more cities/states will join the movement.
Once Americans begin to expect that employers will provide sick leave time, having such provisions in place can be an attractive incentive to potential employees during the interview process.
If your business is small and can’t afford to offer paid time off, you have another option: keep your employees healthy. If your workers are healthy, then they won’t have to take as much sick leave.
A healthy workforce leads to a productive workforce.
In the midst of cold and flu season, for instance, beginning a wellness program for your employees can go a long way in keeping your workforce healthy and happy.
Large corporations can afford to roll out wellness programs with fancy toys (like Fitbits and other wearable tech), health programs (like an onsite fitness center and chiropractors) and healthy dining options.
Fortunately, you don’t have to fork out a ton of money to help keep your employees healthy. Here are three tips for inexpensive wellness programs that small business can employ.
Employees who are stressed are less productive, suffer from more illnesses, and end up taking more time off than those with less stress. Some ways to reduce stress in the workplace are to:
- Encourage employees to take breaks
- Allow employees to bring their dogs (or bring your own!)
- Make sure employees leave work at a decent time
If you have employees who smoke, you could begin a program that provides them with an incentive to quit. The New England Journal of Medicine conducted an interesting study about businesses providing a cash incentive to get employees to quit smoking.
Some preventative health programs you can offer your employees include:
- Encouraging a yearly physical
- Suggest employees get the flu shot
- Hire an occupational therapist to help prevent injury from repetitive motions
These are just three low-cost ways you can help your employees stay healthy. Be creative about other ways you can help. Encouraging healthy lifestyles in your employees is just one way to improve your draw for potential hires.