Person stood in front of a barbell with weights on it

New Year’s Resolutions? How you can encourage your employees to keep them.

The festive season has flown by. Many of us will have over indulged and had a good time doing so. I know I did. Now the holidays are over, the tinsel is put away it’s time for your employees to set those New Year’s Resolutions.

Resolutions commonly focus on making healthier lifestyle choices, spending more time with family and friends, taking up new a new hobby, learning a new skill or being more disciplined with our finances. According to popular research from Scranton University, only 8% of people manage to keep their New Year’s Resolutions. So as employers, how can you help your employees stick to their resolutions?

1.       Free or subsidised gym membership

Nearly everyone vows on New Year’s Day to be a little healthier or to do more exercise (unless you’re Mo Farrah). Research from the Brookings Institute has found that regular exercise helps to improve your employees overall happiness and productivity within the workplace. However, finding the time, motivation, or the money can be hard.

To help your employees stay on track with their resolutions, why not consider providing corporate gym membership. Some gyms (such as PureGym) can cost as little as £10 per employee per month.

Don’t have the budget to provide this? You could still offer this as a flexible benefit and allow employees to opt in and benefit from your collective purchasing power.

2.       Healthy treats

Office cake culture? Replacing this with healthy snacks such as daily or weekly fruit bowls can help your employees stick to their healthy eating resolutions when the snack time grumble comes around.

It’s been shown that employees who make healthier food choices are 25% more likely to have higher job performance. Furthermore, employees who regularly exercise and eat well have 27% lower absenteeism.

3.       Encourage lunchtime activities

We all know that it’s super unhealthy to be sedentary all day, so why not encourage your employees to take a lunch break and leave their desk?

So, perhaps you could organise team sports events (netball, basketball, running anyone?) or walking clubs that encourages your employees to get out and get active during their lunchbreak. These will also help with team cohesion, hopefully helping to evolve and build a positive company culture.

It’s also been proven that socialising with colleagues can help boost the outlook of your employees’ according to Alexander Kjerulf, international author on happiness at work.

4.       Create some space for ‘headspace’

With 80% of workers in the UK saying that they feel stress within the workplace on a regular basis, it’s no surprise that people can become overwhelmed in the modern workplace. Sometimes your people just need a little space to switch off or deal with their most pressing concerns.

According to the European Network for Workplace Health Promotion, for every 80p spent on health promotion and intervention programmes, £4 can be saved due to reduced absenteeism, temporary staffing, presentism and improved motivation. So why not help your employees find a little ‘headspace’ for your mutual benefit.

Research conducted by Sharma & Ruch found that meditation and mindfulness-based stress reduction programmes have been proven to help provide individuals with a better ability to manage stress and reduce anxiety. Apps such as Headspace can help employees achieve these new goals.

5.       Flexible working

All those resolutions to be more present with you family and taking a little me-time often fall by the wayside, with traffic jams, deadlines and long commutes. Now more than ever, employees are looking for flexible working arrangements. This can take the form of more flexible hours or the choice to work from a remote location. This can help your people fit their work around the school run, reduce time on that stressful commute and help achieve a better work life balance.

6.       Financial health

With 46% of employees worrying about their finances (Barclays Business), we are seeing an increased focus on employees’ financial wellbeing. Every year a good old chunk of us say that “I’m going to be better with my money”, “I’m planning to save more”, “I plan on reduce my debts” or have another financial goal in mind, so how can you help?

An increasing number of companies are providing access to financial planning advice and services so employees can make well informed decisions. This can come in the form of basic financial education, access to independent financial advisors, online financial planning and modelling tools or the provision of fairer financing arrangements. These can often be provided at little or no cost by you the employer.

7.       Giving up smoking?

The British Heart Foundation has estimated the cost of smoking to UK businesses, for breaks and sick leave, to be over £8.7 billion a year. Therefore, it’s in everyone’s interest to support their people in kicking the habit. Certainly, giving up smoking is a hard resolution to stick to.

Employers have a great opportunity to help support and guide their employees on this journey. Signposting and directing employees to  resources such as NHS smokefree scheme or even just providing a little moral support could make an amazing difference to someone struggling to give up for good. Or, even just providing the time for smokers to attend group therapy or counselling sessions could go a long way.

8.       Giving back to the community

Some resolutions may include giving back to the community or a chosen charity.

Providing time for employees to undertake charitable or community focused projects and fundraising can act as a great opportunity for team building and demonstrate your credentials as a responsible employer.

Some leaders in this space, such as The Body Shop, offer up to five days paid for employees to spend on charitable causes. Although that’s not possible for all employers, running charity days in the office can offer a great starting point.

According to work undertaken by Deloitte, Millennials and Generation X’ers are increasingly looking for work that has a positive social impact, so it adds a new dimension to your employee engagement strategy.

By providing a little bit of extra support, perhaps you could help more than 8% of your employees stick to their new year’s resolution in 2018. We’d love to hear what you are doing to help your employees achieve their goals.

Wishing you a Happy New Year and a fantastic 2018.

Written by:
Ready to find out how we can Zestify your business?