By Jack Curtis

Note from Karen Moseley, HERO President: During the recent Forum, I asked Jack Curtis to host a networking discussion on Small & Midsize Business Well-Being at HERO. Jack has been a strong advocate for small and midsize business and the opportunity for HERO to support this “backbone of America.” I’m excited about the momentum that is gaining with this topic and hope others will join us.

Background: 99.92% of employees in the USA work for employers with <1000 employees. Small and midsize businesses are critical to our nation’s ability to move the needle on health and well-being. If we applied Maslow’s hierarchy of needs to Small & Midsize Business (SMB), many lack the basic necessities of an effective health and well-being program.

HERO themes and topics (such as SDoH, community & public health) are critical for organizations of all sizes, but require the unique perspective of small and mid-sized employers.

At HEROForum20, we had a very lively discussion on the topic, and we all felt like it’s a HUGE opportunity for HERO and needs to be an ongoing initiative of some sort. The participants were Rebecca Kelly, Christine Ferguson, Lexie Dendrinelis, Susan Bailey, and Philip Swayze — all very passionate about the topic.

Here’s a brief summary of our thoughts:

  • How can HERO make more of an impact here?
  • Think Tank – Special Think Tank with a theme on SMB? If large employers can leverage their resources to help their communities, could they also be leveraged to help their smaller suppliers, partners, etc.?
  • Forum – Feature small/midsize employers during HERO Forum (special track) and also during the ongoing webinar series.
  • Awards – Leverage the brokers and vendor members that serve SMB to seek SMB candidates for applicable awards and possibly a new custom awards category – HWB Greatness @ Scale.
  • Committees – Organize a subcommittee dedicated to looking at opportunities, programs and services with and for this target group.
  • Scorecard – Create and validate a simpler version of the scorecard for SMB?
  • Membership –
    • Engage stakeholders who represent small/midsize employers (Chamber of Commerce, Business Groups, SHRM, Regional Wellness Councils) to promote a special HERO membership and aggregate access.
    • Offer tiered membership fees (i.e., $2500 for <500, $5000 for 500-1000, $7500 for >1000).
  • Publications – Insure that each paper has a simple summary of application for SMB.
  • Leadership – Make sure SMB has a voice on the board at HERO.
  • Do you think HERO should create a committee to work on this? YES!
  • If so, how could we measure HERO’s success in moving the needle with SMB? Consider metrics of:
    • Process (participation, focus groups and webinar attendance from small/midsize employers);
    • Impact (present at conferences, complete scorecard, win awards?);
    • Outcomes (apply for awards, receive awards, show health improvement & cost savings) – it is possible!

Next Steps:  We will convene on December 10th at 1:00 PM CST to discuss how to move forward. If you’re interested in helping, please register here.

©2024 Health Enhancement Research Organization ‘HERO’


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