For many people, the start of 2018 means making New Year’s resolutions and trying to undo the overindulgence of Christmas. But whether we want to improve our health, hobbies or happiness, we rarely expect our employers to help us achieve our goals.
In fact, for businesses New Year is a time of untapped potential when employees are more receptive to ideas of change and growth, so this is the perfect time to develop a results-oriented attitude in your staff. By helping your employees reach their personal goals, you can help to make your business a more productive and positive place to work.
Plus, with only eight per cent of people keeping their resolutions and 80 per cent failing by February1, it seems like we could all use the help.
Here are some of the most popular New Year’s resolutions from last year that your employees could be making again, and how your business can help them stay on track.
1. Losing weight and exercising more
The most popular New Year’s resolutions last year were losing weight and exercising more, according to YouGov.2 There’s nothing new there, but what is your business doing to help your employees achieve these goals? You could offer discounted gym membership, introduce a cycle-to-work incentive for those who live nearby, arrange at-work yoga classes or fund staff football and netball teams by covering the pitch costs.
Even encouraging minor changes to your employees’ lifestyle can make a big impact. Why not suggest for your staff to take the stairs instead of the lift, which could help to increase their health in the long run3 and it could even reduce your company’s environmental footprint.4
2. Saving money
Don’t assume that everyone just wants a gym membership. Many of your employees’ goals for 2018 may revolve around money and work.
With a third of people (32 per cent) saying that ‘saving more money’ was their New Year’s resolution,2 it could be worth introducing employee discount schemes with local businesses or subsidising the costs at your workplace cafeteria. For money-saving initiatives that don’t impact on your own bottom line, giving staff access to a credit union scheme could help them manage their money in their own time.
3. Eat healthier
When it comes to healthy eating, workplaces are renowned magnets for biscuits and cakes, but 31 per cent of people say they want to improve their diet. As a business, you could help employees cut out the confectionery with a sweets amnesty or by arranging deliveries of fruit and healthy snacks. If you have a cafeteria or vending machines at your workplace, ask your supplier to provide healthier options which are low in sugar and fat.
4. Digital detox
Seven per cent of people said they wanted to cut down on social media.2 If your staff are office based and staring at screens all day, could you help them with a digital detox by encouraging face-to-face conversations instead of emailing? Some forward-thinking companies like Google and Facebook also enforce ‘no email days’ to help staff get away from screens.
5. Achieving career ambitions
One in six people said that their New Year’s resolution was to achieve their career ambitions,2 so businesses should think about how to help employees reach their aspirations.
January is a great month to hold performance meetings and appraisals, rewarding employees for their success and giving them clear targets and expectations. Find out if they’re aiming for a promotion, a pay rise or more training, and then your business can better plan its resources.
Get New Year’s resolution ready
Importantly, the goals your employees could set are limitless, so rather than relying on data from elsewhere, why not hold a New Year’s resolutions staff survey and find out straight from the horse’s mouth? Then you can set some business plans in place which help your staff directly.
Whatever your employees’ goals for 2018, make sure your business is New Year’s resolution ready.
If you don’t have one in place already, have you thought about implementing a health care cash plan for your employees? Cash plans could help your employees with their resolutions by helping them save money and stay healthy – with a cash plan, your employees can claim money back towards a range of everyday health care expenses including dental treatment and check-ups, glasses, contact lenses, physiotherapy and much more.
Asset, from Sovereign, also includes an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) as standard. The EAP gives your employees access to a range of expertise, including advice on managing money, staying healthy, buying a new home and much more.
3 Oxford University http://www.ox.ac.uk/news/2015-11-10-more-steps-day-keep-doctor-away