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Small business health and organizational wellbeing workshop (SHOW)

Rural Virginia Farm town in Autumn in the valleys and hills of the Appalachian Mountains

Rural businesses face challenges with retaining employees, workforce productivity, and a quality environment​.

Virginia Tech's Agricultural and Applied Economics Department in collaboration with the Center for Cooperative Problem Solving and the Center for Economic and Community Engagement is conducting the Small Business Health and Organizational Wellbeing (SHOW) program. SHOW is an employee-centric workshop for rural small businesses.

Rural businesses face challenges with retaining employees, workforce productivity, and a quality environment. Workplace conflict has a real dollar and interpersonal costs to businesses. Research has shown that:

  • Businesses on average spend an average of 3 hours per employee per year on resolving conflict, poor morale, lack of effective decision-making, harassment, and stress-related medical issues. 
  • Rural small businesses face increased problems related to workforce well-being and retention. 
  • Workplace conflict and lack of employee well-being affect worker productivity, quality of work, and worker retention. 

The SHOW workshop will provide employees with tools that can be used to improve their functionality and productivity at work.

  1. Workplace communication
  2. Workplace conflict-resolution 
  3. Employee well-being

Virginia Tech trainers will come to your community to train your employees. Please click on the link below to register your company. Once you have registered, we will contact you to set up an appropriate date and venue near you to train your employees

  • Must be a small rural business in Virginia (non-agricultural) 
  • Must have 30 or fewer employees 
  • Be willing to let employees attend the 1.5-2 hour workshop

A small employee participation incentive will be provided.

Q. Will employees have to travel to receive the SHOW training?
A: No, the training will occur at a location near the business. 

Q: When will the SHOW training occur?
A: The SHOW  staff will contact you to set up a convenient time. We will schedule training starting January 15, 2023, to April 30, 2023. 

Q: Do business owners participate in the training?
A: No, business owners do not participate in the training with their employees, but they will have an opportunity to be trained, if interested.

Workshop benefits graphic by Samantha Rippley
Workshop benefits graphic by Samantha Rippley

SHOW was developed as part of a research project led by Virginia Tech's Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics titled 'Workplace stressors, conflict resolution, worker productivity: A field experiment on employee wellness training program in rural small businesses.' This project was developed in collaboration with researchers at Purdue University.

The project is funded by the United States Department of Agriculture - National Institute of Food and Agriculture, award accession number 1025114, allowing us to provide this training at no cost to you.

Meet the team

Susan Chen, Program Director and Virginia Tech Associate Professor for the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics​

Bhagyashree Katare, Program Director and Purdue University Associate Professor for the Department of Agricultural Economics

Maria Marshall, Purdue University Professor for the Department of Agricultural Economics

Franki Kung, Purdue University Assistant Professor for the Department of Psychological Sciences

Samantha Rippley, Virginia Tech graduate student for the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics