6 Ways Employers Can Support Your New Year Resolutions, Work & Personal Goals

new years, resolutions, employers

I’ll admit it. Every year I make a list of New Year’s Resolutions, and every year, inevitably, some of those resolutions fall by the wayside. But strangely enough, your employer can actually help you keep those resolutions.

I think it’s natural to want to make changes at the first of the year, and those changes range from spending more time with family, getting healthier, quitting smoking, learning a new language, becoming more focused on the job and hundreds of others.

Setting and Achieving Work and Personal Goals

But making and breaking resolutions can be detrimental to your mental health too, and I believe it’s now up to the employer to step in especially since a reported 88% of people fail at meeting their New Year’s Resolution.  No one likes to fail.  It causes tension, anxiety, and stress with that little voice in the back of our head telling us, “I told you so.”  And that stress transitions from work to home and vice versa especially since a growing number of us now make our homes our office too.  My resolution was to create more balance in my life.  While I work for myself and can choose the hours I work, until last year I did not have a full time person dedicated to help me do my best.  And by doing my best I mean my best in both work and life.  So I resolved to learn to give up control, let my team of now 3 do what needs to be done, and delegate those tasks that tend to suck up time in my life.  That’s where Blake, Lindsay, and Sarah come in.  They are saving my life and helping me meet and exceed my new year’s resolution.  My daughter, my family, my marriage, my clients, and myself are eternally greatful because something had to give.

The top resolutions, according to StaticBrain.com are:

  • Lose Weight
  • Get organized
  • Spend less, save more
  • Enjoy life to the fullest
  • Stay fit and healthy

Our Brains Aren’t Wired to Meet Our Work or Personal Goals

Scientifically, our brains and lifestyle don’t support our efforts to keep our resolutions.  Willpower requires extra brain power and with all the technology, information and news we are bombarded with, something has to give.  Employers and businesses can break that cycle of resolution failure by helping their workers find ways to stick to it. Talk to them and work together to help support their personal and professional goals because the have a direct reflections of how we feel both in and outside of the office.  Whether its healthy lifestyles or organization goals, easy changes in the workplace can give employers a hand in their people’s success and happiness.

Five ways you can help your employees succeed with New Year’s Resolutions or any type of work or personal goals are:

  • LOSE WEIGHT – Talk to any state health department about instituting wellness programs in the workplace. This could be as simple as starting a “Biggest Loser” competition, bringing in Weight Watchers, changing insurance to a plan that covers gym memberships or encouraging employees to start fitness classes at the workplace after hours. Keep in mind that when employees are stressed some eat away their troubles and that includes stress caused because of work.
  • GET ORGANIZED – Good organization helps you gain control of your time so you can plan and complete the tasks needed to achieve your goals, reducing stress for employees. One way to do this is give each employee a calendar or planner that clearly outlines goals, events, deadlines and more. Host a lunch and learn class training employees how to filter their email or use mobile apps to help plan meals or shopping trips.  Go as paperless as possible by using Google drive and other organization programs.
  • SPEND LESS, SAVE MORE – Many state agencies and non-profit consumer groups are available to do half-day or hour-long seminars on budgeting, saving and getting out of debt. Debt especially can add tremendous stress to your employees, so offering debt counseling or budgeting classes during a lunch hour or afternoon is a simple way to add value to your workers.  This kind of discussion and training nicely transitions into discussions regarding your company’s 401(k), workplace education and tuition assistance programs.
  • ENJOY LIFE TO THE FULLEST – This in itself constitutes work/life balance, a buzz term these days. According to a recent survey, 70 percent of CEOs said they couldn’t remain competitive if they didn’t help employees balance work life and home life. Some ways to implement flexible work options include childcare options, wellness programs, financial planning and concierge services. With all the travel we do and crazy schedule at my house even though I work at home, I’m considering having a chef cook meals a couple nights a week.  Yes, my life is that crazy, and I only have one child who is 4.
  • STAY FIT and HEALTHY – Refer to No. 1, but other ways to help employee stay healthy is to offer nutritious choices in vending machines, offering smoking cessation programs and incentives, encouraging healthy potlucks, suggest a “walking meeting” when meeting one-on-one with a staff member or small employee workgroup.

Celebrate Your Employee’s Success

Most importantly we should celebrate together.  We should reward employees for achieving and meeting goals especially those that can indirectly benefit the organization through increased employee engagement, productivity, and reduced health benefit costs.  It may sound cliché, but one of the most important values a company has is its employees. And by helping employees improve and grow, not only will it add value to the company, but the employees will value their own personal growth and want to support the company too.

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Jessica Miller-Merrell

Learn more about Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, the founder of Workology, a workplace HR resource, and the host of the Workology Podcast. More of her blogs can be found here.

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