Resolutions that really work
Making promises is easy. Keeping them is hard. Here are nine ways you can help employees achieve their healthy goals in 2017—and be safer in the process.
posted January 05, 2017
Nearly half of all Americans make New Year’s resolutions; only 8 percent keep them. As we swear off junk food, renew gym memberships, and vow to be healthier in 2017, there’s one hurdle to better health that most people don’t think about: the workplace.
“Each individual is influenced by their environment. What we do is largely determined by what is around us,” says Sabrina Freewynn, Total Worker Health® consultant at SAIF. “When you consider most workers spend one-third of their weekdays on the job, the workplace has a lot of influence.”
Supporting a healthy workplace isn’t just good for people, it’s good for business. Studies show that healthy workers get hurt less, are more productive and engaged, and have lower insurance costs.
“When it comes to our health, most people know what they should—and shouldn’t—do. But knowing what to do doesn’t make it easy,” Freewynn says. “Employers can help by putting safety and health within reach. This means ensuring we have a supportive workplace environment, practices, and culture.”
Here are nine ways you can create a workplace that supports safe and healthy choices.
Put healthy options within easy reach:
- Offer water instead of soda, and healthy food options on-site. Give employees access to refrigerators and microwaves to prepare their own food.
- Encourage walking for meetings and breaks—and identify safe and interesting walking paths on-site or close to work.
- Provide healthy incentives—subsidized bus passes rather than free parking.
Walk the talk:
- Be seen engaging in safety and health activities—especially if you’re a manager or a senior leader at the company.
- Reward safe and healthy behaviors, and not just outcomes. For instance, count the days everyone wears their safety gear instead of the days without injury.
- Put away the candy dish—or better yet, replace it with a bowl of oranges.
Support the individual:
- Make sure your benefits program includes things like tobacco cessation, behavior coaching, and other supportive programs.
- Communicate those benefits—they’re only helpful if employees know about them and how to access them.
- Ask for input and feedback to strengthen what’s working.
Learn more about how to prevent injuries by promoting health, an approach known as Total Worker Health.
Explore our free safety and health trainings—online and in your area.