It’s that time of year people from all walks of life wax lyrical about the New Year’s Resolutions that they plan to keep. While some people choose to make their resolutions about finances, travel, household renovations or career goals, the vast majority of people are trying to make better choices about their health in the coming months. That said, by the end of January many of these good intentioned plans have fallen by the wayside and people are back to their old ways. 

As a responsible employer (and a savvy business leader who knows that a healthy staff increases overall productivity), you can have a big impact on the resolutions of your employees. By making a few small changes in the workplace, you can increase your teams’ success when it comes to their New Year’s resolutions.

Healthy Employees = Productive Workplaces

Here are a few simple, low cost ways that you can help your team members feel better, look better, and do better when it comes to their health in 2016:

Assess your snacks – Many workplaces offer biscuits and sugary soft drinks to their employees – while this can seem like a gracious gesture of hospitality, these types of snacks and beverages can sabotage your teams’ best intentions when it comes to healthy eating. Try instead offering sugar-free beverages (sparkling water, diet soft drinks, fruit juices and low fat milk), along with fresh fruit, cut up veggies and wholegrain savoury options. If you have vending machines or a canteen, consider a sugar tax – the NHS has just announced their intention to introduce a sugar tax in hospitals, and encourage better food and drink choices.

Bike to work schemes – Many different programmes (such as Bikes For Staff) allow workers to access tax free bicycles and accessories – all you as an employer have to do is sign up. With a scheme like this, you can encourage your staff members to cycle to work, burning calories and saving money while they pedal.

Corporate gym memberships – If you don’t have gym equipment in your workplace, you can still help your team get fit and toned. Consider including a gym membership for staff scheme in your list of employee perks  – not only will the gesture help to attract the best talent in your industry, it will also help those who you already employ stay into tip-top shape all year long.

Social sports teams – Forming a social sports team at your office is a great idea for more than one reason – not only will running after a football or chasing after a Frisbee help your employees shed inches from their waistbands, it will also help to build team morale. You will notice a huge boost in workplace camaraderie if you choose to organise a sports team for your workers.

Help employees stop smoking – Many smokers use the New Year as their impetus to quit smoking; they will need all the support they can get. It might help to survey staff to see how many want to stop smoking and ask them what you as an employer can do. Perhaps form a group and hold regular smoking cessation sessions, with the support of a health professional such as a counselor.

By following just one or two of these ideas, you can really have an impact on the health, vitality and wellbeing of your staff, all while helping them to succeed in their New Year’s Resolutions.

Here’s to better health in 2016 for you and your team!