4 New Year Health Resolutions to Encourage in 2020

And why you'll WANT employees to stick to their goals

Written by Lauren Fischer | December 6, 2019

2020 Resolutions for HR Professionals

As the holidays approach and the New Year draws near, health-conscious resolutions are being made among your workforce. And while the goals for employees range from health (think weight loss, improved physical fitness or a trimmer waistline) to wealth (saving for a goal, getting out of debt), HR and benefits pros have something else to consider - how these resolutions could benefit your organization, as a whole.

When employees stick to their health and wellness resolutions, it could have a tremendous impact on your organization by helping to reduce company benefits costs, lowering health insurance premiums, reducing employee absences and even increasing productivity. With that in mind, it's no wonder why more and more companies are putting the spotlight on total employee well-being in 2020.

The first step in creating a winning well-being program for your organization is by identifying the key areas of health and wellness. After all, living a healthy lifestyle is more than just nutrition and exercise. It’s much bigger than that, extending into areas of social, mental and financial health, and today's modern workforce has identified the need for support from their employers in these focal areas.

One thing to bear in mind is that the EEOC has not issued a final ruling on wellness programs for 2020. For more on the matter, refer to our on-demand webinar. While it's unlikely this will change before year-end, it's best to seek legal counsel on ways to navigate wellness program risk.

Without further ado, here are four New Year resolutions that all HR and benefits administrators can (and should!) stand behind in 2020 and beyond.

1. I resolve to make mental health a priority

It's common knowledge - we're expected to keep our personal matters separate from our professional life. It's not as easy as it sounds. The truth is, what’s going on outside of work is also going on at work. This is especially true when it comes to an individual’s mental health, and, medical benefits focusing solely on the physical side may not be enough. Empower your employees to take charge or their mental health by making it a part of your complete wellness program. Mental health days and mental health workshops are simple ways to show your support, and we discuss many more in our blog.

Read: How to Support Mental Health in the Workplace

2. I resolve to spend more time volunteering

Full-time employees spend the majority of their waking hours at work. That doesn't leave much time for social activities, and many employees express needing more time to build relationships and connect with others. The fix? Be the catalyst. Provide employees the opportunity to socialize within and outside the organization.

This can take the form of team outings or events, and inviting break areas around the office. Better yet, marry the social connection with volunteerism. By providing volunteer opportunities to your team members and employees, you're creating a social connection while helping give back. You could even take it a step further with gamification (first 10 to sign up earn a t-shirt) and reward employees PTO hours for participation.

3. I resolve to have a better handle on my finances

Did you know 42 million American struggle with all or nearly all aspects of their financial lives? From student loans, credit card debt, home mortgages and car payments, there's no shortage of recurring expenses, and, even those with less debt are often living paycheck-to-paycheck.

Eventually that financial pressure could manifest into stress and even impact work performance. More and more, organizations are recognizing the connection between health and personal finance by supporting financial well-being as part of the benefits offering.

Support financial health at work with financial training, savings programs, money management tools, 401(k) education, student loan support, or split or matched direct deposits.

Read: Promoting Financial Health in the Workplace

4. I resolve to take charge of my physical health

While mental, social and financial health are all important pieces of the wellness puzzle, standard healthcare -- the building block of most employee benefits programs -- should not be overlooked.

From annual physicals, dental visits and vision exams, your organization's health plan likely has an abundance of offerings that meet the basic needs of your employees and their families. However, some may never take advantage. One solution? Communication. Keep physical wellness top-of-mind among your workforce by reminding employees of these opportunities to become well, and stay well.

Pro tip: Use seasonality to your advantage and coordinate communications around key dates and health observances. For example, deploy a company-wide email during the month of October highlighting women's health (or in June for Men's Health Month). February is Heart Month, and May is Mental Health Awareness Month -- all opportunities to remind employees to make an appointment.

“When health is absent, wisdom cannot reveal itself, art cannot manifest, strength cannot fight, wealth becomes useless, and intelligence cannot be applied.” - Herophilus

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Topics: Health & Wellness, For Employers