Helping Employees Take Advantage of (and Keep) New Year’s Resolutions

HR can help the workforce keep their New Year's health and wellness resolutions

It’s the first week of the year, and your employees have made personal vows to eat better, exercise more, and manage stress.

As health care advocates, you won’t always have such a motivated audience. Your natural instinct is to take advantage of this post-new-year’s-resolutions attention span to promote your wellness programs. But, make sure your efforts will create results, not cynicism.

Don’t annoy employees with the typical, cheesy stock photos, generic statements about healthy living, or the-sky-is-falling reminders about soaring health care costs. Photos of people eating salads and depressing numbers about New Year’s resolutions or dramatic stats about the cost of health care are not going to motivate anyone.

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Instead, educate employees and their families about the practical ways your company supports their unique goals. Give them clear, easy-to-use details on what is available, where to find it and how to sign up:

  • Remind them about the incentives you have in place to support wellness.
  • Let them know which preventive care exams are covered and encourage employees to schedule annual doctors visits for themselves and their family.
  • Tell them about the immunization shots covered for them and their children.
  • Promote your on-site wellness activities.
  • Uncover the often-missed programs available from carriers and vendors and other benefits like your EAP that are under-used.
  • Give them tips for sticking to their resolutions — like starting with a small goal, publicizing their resolutions with friends and family, focusing on when you do well (not when you mess up) and planning well. (We love these tips from the Heath brothers, authors of Switch and Made to Stick.)

And, hopefully, those resolutions will last a bit longer!

Jennifer Benz is Chief Strategist and Founder of Benz Communications, a San Francisco-based consultancy that focuses on custom, comprehensive benefits and HR communications services. Jen is an active member of the Council for Communication Management, the International Association of Business Communicators, the Northern California Human Resources Association and Women in Consulting. Contact her at jen@benzcommunications.com.

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