How many of your employees created New Year’s resolutions centered on health and wellness? As an employer, you can provide some measures that encourage, support and even motivate employees to keep to those resolutions. Making significant or even small changes around the office could not only help your employees to achieve their goals but also help you build a healthy workplace and keep health costs low.

Why It Matters

According to the “Workplace Health Promotion” report released by the Partnership for Prevention, workers in poor health mean greater medical costs, more frequent absences, an increased risk of disability costs and suboptimal productivity. By supporting your employees’ New Year’s resolutions, you can help them take steps in the direction of improved health. Consider a few specific, affordable solutions for employers:

  • Encourage employees to get preventive care. This gives patients a wake-up call at the start of the year. They can work alongside their doctor to create a plan of action for improving their health in 2015. Also, encourage any necessary screenings that could bring to light potential health risks.
  • Sponsor gym memberships Work with a local recreational center or gym to get low-cost or free gym memberships for employees who commit to working out a set number of days per week. If your health plan includes fitness discounts, make sure that employees know what they are and how to use them.
  • Promote online tools. Teach employees during a simple meeting about the wealth of free tools available to them online to use to achieve their New Year’s resolutions. Free apps, medical resources and even tracking software can keep them on track and motivated.
  • Offer smoking-cessation programs. Quitting smoking is a frequent new year’s resolution, but it’s a resolution that’s frequently broken. Consider creating a wellness program to encourage employees to give up tobacco for good. Remember, though, that rewards for smoking-cessation programs can represent a greater percentage related to the cost of the health plan’s premiums than other types of programs.

Boost efficiency and foster a peaceful working atmosphere by installing a few wellness programs this year. Talk with your employees about their New Year’s resolutions, and find tools and resources that encourage them to achieve those goals. By taking these steps, you can create a work environment that’s giving employees the push they need to continue working toward better health.

Sandy Baker is a full-time freelance writer specializing in health, personal finance and Internet marketing. Her long-term history online has included publications with companies including Marriott Hotels, The New York Times and dozens of other small and medium-sized businesses. She is also published in print with award-winning books such as The Complete Guide to Estate Planning, Complete Guide to Early Retirement, The Complete Bankruptcy Guide for Consumers and Small Businesses and The Complete Guide to Organic Lawn Care.