Opinion: A healthy start to the new year

by Contributor15 Jan 2016
What resolutions have your employees made at the start of a new year? Georgie Drury suggests that if improving health and fitness is on the list, that will benefit the employee and their employer.

Our New Year’s Resolutions say a lot about us – we’re essentially identifying which aspects of ourselves we want to improve. So whether it’s losing weight or learning a new language, you want to identify what your employees want to improve, and use that info to help them achieve that.
 
Your employees’ resolutions are your resolution – wellbeing has a strong link to productivity and engagement, so what’s best for them is best for you in HR or Senior Management.
 
I should clarify – there’s actually one resolution that you definitely don’t want come true. According to an American poll conducted by Right Management, the large majority of workers plan on getting a new job in the year ahead. Don’t let that resolution be a reality for your employees – help them achieve their wellbeing goals, and your efforts will be reflected in your company’s retainment stats.
 
So where do you start? Ask all your employees what their resolutions are! It can be anonymous, but you want to get a snapshot of what your employees are thinking.
 
At Springday, we use our Wellbeing Hubs to coordinate company-wide communication. Employees complete a health and wellbeing check, which we created with the University of New South Wales, at the beginning of the year, and HR and your Senior Leadership Team will get a clear picture of their workforce’s health profile. Stop trying to guess what your employees want to do with their wellbeing and actually ask them. At Springday we believe wellbeing is framed over five pillars; physical, emotional, social, financial and career our wellbeing tool covers all five.
 
The trends will become apparent. Maybe your company has a high proportion of smokers, or a lot of employees who struggle with sleep. Access to this data is invaluable, and informs your HR spending.
 
Have a lot of employees wanting to improve their fitness? Start the year with an activity challenge, offer discounts on wearable activity trackers, organise social lunchtime sports and offer training for upcoming fun runs. Too many well-meaning organisations drop big amounts of money on useless initiatives because they don’t have a clear understanding of their workforce’s profile. Don’t waste money by trying to get employees to complete a triathlon when a 5K run is more realistic.
 
Check back later in the year to see what’s changed, and you’ll get some great feedback on your employees’ progress. Did you organise an activity challenge, and notice that less employees are struggling with their weight? Congratulations, it’s proof that your money is being spent wisely. Did you run a series of seminars on healthy eating, but still see people citing their diet as a problem? It’s a sign you can do better.
 
Resolutions are invaluable, so do what you can to learn what goals your employees have for the year ahead. Coordinating a survey through a Wellbeing Hub will make your job easier and confirm that you’re making and impact with your hard work.

About the author 
Georgie Drury is the CEO and founder of Springday
Georgie Drury’s background spans education, management consulting and technological innovation, particularly applied to consumer needs.

Georgie applied her experience to create Springday, a company which integrates cutting edge technology, human resources and wellbeing. Springday develops, sources and collates wellness programs, material and expertise. Companies nationwide access these resources and improve employee wellbeing and engagement via Springday’s powerful, infinitely flexible, cloud-based platform.
 

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