Weight loss, eating healthier, and saving more money top over 60% of people’s New Year’s Resolutions. Women’s top resolutions are more often health-focused, while men swear they’ll look for that new job and lay off alcohol. Other big ones include learning a new skill or hobby, reading more, and spending more time with family and friends.
What role does your organization play in these resolutions? How can you tap into your employees big New Year wishes to improve employee engagement?
Instead of re-inventing the wheel, dig deep into what your employees’ really want, which is probably what most people really want – health, savings, time, family and friends. Considering our workers spend over 35% of their time at the workplace, why not create organization-wide strategies to help them meet their goals – health, savings, and personal growth? A tall order? Not really.
1. Get healthy, and creative, with snacks and exercise. Revamp the kitchen to include healthier snack options like nuts and fruits. Make sure there’s a hydration point for contributors to fill up their water bottles (and cut back on plastic waste). Partner with local sporting goods stores, gyms, the YMCA and more to provide exercise opportunities for staff. Consider creating a health and wellness committee. Bring in a dietitian to talk about the dangers of fad diets, how to create a healthy body self-esteem and more. There are so many inexpensive ways to make health and nutrition a priority in the workplace. Walk the talk.
2. Make mental health a priority. How does your workplace handle mental health issues? What information, resources are available to employees? The WHO reports that over 300 million people suffer from depression worldwide. That’s the population of the United States. Yet, mental health continues to be stigmatized. Find ways to tackle mental health issues. In turn, reduce absenteeism, keep employees engaged and motivated.
3. Get serious about occupational health. This involves everything from maintaining and updating equipment and software to lighting, ergonomic chairs and more are part of occupational health. Work with HR to develop an effective occupational health strategy. Take a health-risk assessment of the workplace (from an outside company). Socialize new norms so that all contributors understand the why behind the norms. And, finally, create a strategic implementation plan.
4. Help your contributors save. Bring in financial experts to talk to workers about employee savings plans, retirement plans, 401Ks, Roth Savings accounts, life insurance and more. So many don’t save because they don’t know how or what’s available. Other ways to help people save is knowing what they spend their money on. Childcare? Team up with a local afterschool program or YMCA for discounted prices. Groceries? Create a coupon exchange or board with “best prices”. Healthcare? Take a hard look at the healthcare plan you provide. Does it cover your employees’ essential needs? What other options are there? What is the out-of-pocket cost for employees to get essential medicine? Ask the hard questions.
5. Give your employees’ life. Work-life balance is essential to mental and physical health as well as being productive at work. We work with humans, not machines. Set up a clear communication plan. Respect boundaries.
6. Honor the drive to be a life-long learner. Talk to your employees. Where do they see themselves in five, ten years? What skills do they need to get there? Creating a culture of continuous improvement is critical to boost employee engagement. When employees feel like they’re growing, they become more autonomous, more productive, more successful.
Your organization can be a huge part of your employees’ dreams and goals. Be the company where resolutions aren’t just lofty ideas, instead can be grounded in best practices. Listen to your employees’ needs and improve engagement – one day at a time.