I love learning about the strategies big business develop to support the mental health of their employees at work. It’s inspiring to hear about how they want to ensure their staff are able to work-well. That leads me to wonder, however, if they extend this care to their small business clients too. We all know that employing people is usually the biggest cost/investment a company makes in its success. The same is true, however, when it comes to developing and growing a client base. If 98% of all businesses in Australia are small then there is a very good chance that most large businesses must do business with the small business sector. There cannot be an economy without us.
Therefore, it makes just as much economic sense to invest in our wellbeing as you would invest in the wellbeing of an employee.
How is this possible? Here are four easy ideas that your Workplace Wellness Manager can explore immediately:
⇒ Ask your small business clients how you can help them to work well in their business.
- Ask when you send them your next order.
- Ask when you send them your next invoice (the phone bill, the power bill, the supply bill).
- Ask on key mental health days like, RUOk Day.
⇒ Negotiate wellness deals that can be extended to your small business customers.
- Do your employees get a gym membership discount? Offer that to your small business customers.
- Do your employees get access to an EAP program? Offer that access to your small business customers.
- Can your employees access a wellbeing portal with a range of tip sheets, recipes, and lifestyle ideas? Make it available to your small business customers too.
⇒ Make sure everyone in the organisation understands their responsibilities under the relevant OHS legislation.
- Mental health legislation at work doesn’t just relate to the treatment of employees in the workplace – it also covers how a PCBU treats another PCBU.
- Make sure that everyone knows you won’t tolerate bullying, harassment or unreasonable demands placed on your small business customers just as it won’t be tolerated in your workplace.
⇒ Tell them you care about their mental health and act consistently in a manner that encourages them to believe it.
- Sometimes it’s hard to assert your rights when the company you have a problem with is helping to pay your bills each month. Take steps to remove the power imbalance so that a small business owner feels it’s okay to share their concern without the risk of losing your business.
- Collaborate with leaders across departments to ensure everyone agrees on a consistent approach to build trust with your small business clients.
Thinking about including small business clients in your workplace wellness strategy is a relatively new idea in Australia. Therefore, it’s not hard to be a market leader in this space right now. For assistance developing a strategy that meets the workplace mental health needs of your small business clients send me an email and we can chat about your plans.