7 tips to help employees keep New Year's resolutions

Healthy employees lead to increased productivity and decreased disability claims
|hrreporter.com|Last Updated: 02/01/2011

Every January, people make resolutions to exercise more often, lose weight or spend more time with family. But often within weeks, despite the best of intentions, the resolutions fall by the wayside due to a lack of support and motivation.

But employers that support employees in achieving resolutions that boost employees' work-health balance will reap their own rewards, according to Banyan Work Health Solutions, a health management services provider.

Work-health balance is found in healthy workplaces that are conducive to employees' well-being, said Julie Holden, vice-president of employer services at Banyan Work Health Solutions. A lack of balance is often the underlying reason employees on disability leave are hesitant about returning to work, she said.

“Promoting healthy workers can help the bottom line,” said Holden. “Employers that look at the number of at-risk employees and take steps to help them achieve a healthier lifestyle will produce a fit workforce, increased productivity and substantially lower costs in disability claims, not only for their current employees, but for the future generation of employees as well.”

Annual obesity-related disability costs for an employer can be in excess of $10,000 and the average duration of a disability claim solely related to obesity is 41.5 days and longer than the average recovery period. Focusing on employee health, fitness and lifestyle can save a company thousands of dollars and reduce workplace absences.

Incorporating a wellness program to support resolutions for a better work-health-life balance for employees will yield rewards for the company through increased morale, reduced disability costs and workplace absences.

7 tips to help employees achieve work-health-life balance:

•offer flexible working arrangements

•reduce excessive workloads

•provide gym memberships or flexibility in the schedule to allow employees to go to the gym

•accommodate staff requests to attend classes for professional development

•encourage staff-run programs for a healthier workplace, such as walking clubs

•provide incentives for staff seeking a healthier lifestyle, such as gift certificate to use towards gym classes or cash for staff who successfully quite smoking

•lead by example and bring in a basket of fruit for meetings rather than donuts.

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