The Biggest Component to Making Resolutions Stick

Posted on January 19, 2016.

This time of year, everyone’s joining gyms, taking up yoga, walking the dog more, eating empty calories less.  But, here’s the thing: we spend most of our time at work, so doesn’t it make sense that companies should get on the healthy train, too?  

Common sense (and data) tells us that happy, healthy workers are more productive, cost less, and stay on staff longer.

Clearly, the benefits for businesses that resolve to nurture a healthy workplace are huge, but I’ll let some statistics (courtesy of Officevibe) do the talking:

●      Companies that implement wellness programs have 28% reduced sick leave and 26% reduction in medical costs.

●      Medical costs fall by about $3.27 for every dollar spent on wellness programs.

Don’t just promise yourself that you’re going to meditate more and drop those pesky extra pounds. Rather, resolve to introduce wellness programs at work to support your employees’ health.  Remember, though, that good health isn’t just about losing weight and getting active - there are emotional and mental components to consider, as well.

“Yes, yes,” you’re saying, “But what can I do? I’m a manager – not a CEO.”

Use your influence! Encourage your company to adopt a wellness program and make what changes you can within your own team. 

Need some inspiration? Read on for easy-to-implement initiatives that businesses big and small are using to improve employees’ lives:

●      Helping others makes you feel good and builds a sense of camaraderie. Encourage employees to take time off and volunteer, as Deloitte, PCL Construction and many others mentioned in this Fortune article do.  

●      Institute weekends as a phone-free zone.  Sure, there are emergencies, but do employees really need to be tethered to work seven days a week? The answer is no.  Make disconnecting a company policy and employees will return on Monday more relaxed and ready to work.

●      Google is oft-trumpeted as an example of a company with a wellness program that can’t be beat, and you’d think that’s entirely due to financial resources. Not so. As this article on Greatist explains, it’s about keeping it simple and focused on being healthy.  Introduce walking or outdoor meetings.  Get everyone pedometers, set a goal, and offer a monthly reward to the team that meets it first. Re-evaluate snacks in the kitchen.

●      Change the culture of taking time off.  Too often, managers get grumpy and ask questions when an employee asks to take time off. Stop this.  You want them to rest and recharge.  Take the guilt and anxiety out of the equation and folks will feel more comfortable asking for a day off if they need one.

Meditation rooms, unlimited vacation, healthy snacks, subsidized gym memberships, monthly yoga classes, company charity donations based on pedometer steps, dog-friendly offices, flexible work hours…there are so many ways to effectively address your team’s mental and physical wellness.  However, there is one commonality among companies offering the best wellness programs, and that’s commitment.