How to help your employees stick to their New Year’s resolution

Come 1st January many people make public declarations that they are going to make big changes to their lifestyle. For some, making a New Year resolution is a bit of fun but for others, it is a time when they make the decision to improve their life for the better.  

In the first couple of weeks nearly everyone is focussed on sticking to their resolution. However, research has shown that by the second week in February 80% have broken their New Year’s resolution.

Professor of Psychology at Carleton University, Timothy Pychyl states that when we do break our New Year’s resolution we experience a feeling of anxiety, stress and lower self-worth. These feelings can impact our work life as well as our personal life, as physical symptoms of anxiety and stress include trouble concentrating, difficulty making decisions, and persistent tiredness, all resulting in reduced productivity.

Helping your employees to stick to their resolutions is therefore good for your business, as well as your employee’s wellbeing.

Find out how our business health and wellbeing services could support both your business and employees here.

How to help employees stick to New Year’s resolutions

According to the Telegraph, the top 10 New Year’s resolutions are:

1. Exercise more – 38%
2. Lose weight – 33%
3. Eat more healthily – 32%
4. Take a more active approach to health -15%
5. Learn a new skill or hobby – 15%
6. Spend more time on personal wellbeing – 12%
7. Spend more time with family and friends – 12%
8. Drink less alcohol – 12%
9. Stop smoking – 9%
10. Other – 1%

There are a number of ways in which you can help employees stick to these resolutions, and here are 6 suggestions:

1. Encourage employees to build exercise into their daily schedule

If you have the resource, you could offer your employees discounted gym membership. Alternatively, you could organise weekly fitness classes and invite fitness instructors to come into the business and show employees some techniques that they can do at work and at home.

Our article, ‘Help employees to fit exercise into their daily working lives’ provides further examples of how employees can stay healthy at work.

2. Encourage healthy eating

Following the indulgence of Christmas, New Year is a great time to embark on a healthier eating regime.

The Livewell campaign by the NHS encourages everyone to eat five portions of fruit and veg a day. You can help your employees achieve this goal by providing them with a range of healthy breakfast options and a selection of fresh fruit as snacks. Our article, ‘Breakfast tips for healthier and more productive employees’ provides examples of healthy breakfast options. 

3. Offer health and wellbeing benefits

You could help employees to take a more active approach to their health by offering an option of health and wellbeing services.

Services such as Benenden’s Health Assessments for Business could help identify warning signs of hereditary and hidden illnesses, such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol, that your employees may not realise they are suffering with. They also provide a personalised report detailing the results of the tests. These reports can help employees to make better informed dietary and lifestyle choices to help reduce their risk of developing common, but often preventable, conditions such as heart disease and diabetes.

By helping to identify potential health risks and providing actionable plans and health care to reduce those risks, you can leave your employees feeling more in control of their health.

4. Encourage a good work/life balance

Having a positive work-life balance can help employees spend more time with their friends and family, without impacting productivity at work.

As well as helping your employees to fulfil a New Year’s resolution, employees who feel they achieve a good work/life balance are 31% happier at work. And happier employees tend to be more efficient, productive and motivated.

There are many ways that business owners and HR managers can help employees achieve a better work-life balance, such as:

  • Encouraging employees to take their lunch break, rather than eating a sandwich at their desks
  • Flexible working options (e.g. compressed hours, job sharing, remote working)
  • Paid time off policies
  • Encouraging employees to leave on time regularly

Of course, it’s worth remembering that what equals a good work/life balance for one employee is not necessarily right for another. Employees are individuals and your approach must be too.  Find out more about improving employee work/life balance.

5. Change alcohol fuelled socials

Work socials are a really important part of working life, but the downside is that most company socials involve an over indulgence in alcohol, which isn’t helpful when an employee is trying to cut down their alcohol intake.

But when post-work drinks can be such a popular and easy way to bond teams, what can you replace them with? Contrary to popular belief, at Benenden, we think it’s possible to have great team social events that are as much fun without alcohol as with it. these could include:

  • Classic sports days
  • Laser Quest
  • Escape room games
  • Go kart racing

Find more suggestions for ideas for alcohol free socials in our article.

6. Make it competitive

Tap into your employee’s competitive side and create an office competition that will encourage them to achieve their goals. For instance, this could include counting who does the most steps using a health and fitness app organising a company football match, or another team sports event.

Helping your employees to stick to their resolutions can make them healthier and happier, and happier employees tend to be more efficient, productive and motivated at work.

Do you have any tips for helping your employees to stick to their New Year’s resolutions? let us know on Twitter or LinkedIn using #NewYearsResolution

To discover how Benenden could support your business with our health and wellbeing services please call 0800 414 8179 or visit our Business Healthcare page.