By Rebecca Mason, RDN
With the drop of the ball to commemorate a brand new calendar year, comes a rise in resolutions to improve our lives. Many of us make New Year’s resolutions that are very personal. Others make resolutions that are family, career, fun or travel based. It may seem as though your employee’s resolutions are out of your control, which is, in part, true. However, all great things start with a single step, and many of our steps occur at work. What’s more is, many of our resolutions require healthier choices.
Here are four common wellbeing resolutions and the simple ways you can promote them in your workplace.
1. Your employees resolve to improve work-life balance.
As a leader, it’s your responsibility to establish healthy boundaries at work (whatever that looks like during COVID-19). Encourage your longtime employees to use some of that massively accumulated PTO bank. Take that a step further and cross-train your staff so everybody has a solid back-up when they are on vacation. Be a supporter of them being with family when needed. If your organization has the capacity to permit offsite work, develop policies and procedures around the practice and allow it. After all, well-rested and more balanced employees are less stressed and able to focus on their tasks.
2. Your employees resolve to focus on personal development.
You may not have it in the budget to host a day-long training or send your team to conferences, but you can still enrich the lives of your team and bolster their skill sets through cross-training. When done successfully, employees feel empowered by learning a new skill. Not only do they benefit from learning something new, they’ll have a better appreciation for their fellow employees. From a management standpoint, you too can gain fresh perspectives. And, when one employee takes their hard-earned vacation time, the rest of his or her team will have the skills necessary to conduct a stronger day-to-day in their colleague’s absence.
3. Your employees resolve to manage their time better in 2021.
While you cannot manage the ways your employees spend their time outside of work hours, one simple way to help manage the use of their time during the workday is by hosting meetings that are more effective. Where to begin? Commit to starting meetings on time. It may not seem like a big deal to start a meeting just eight minutes late, but being on time shows you value others’ time. Not to mention, it saves the company money. Let’s say you have 10 employees in a meeting. Starting a meeting eight minutes late means you paid for a collective 80 minutes of unproductive time. Doing this regularly over the course of a week adds up quickly and saving that time could mean a more productive workweek for everyone.
4. Your employees resolve to reduce stress levels.
Looming deadlines, repeated interruptions and changing needs are a tried and true recipe for elevated stress. Not to mention, all they just encountered and survived in 2020. Allow your employees to prioritize their day and encourage your staff to schedule quiet time when necessary. They’ll feel instant relief the moment they are able to take that task off their to-do list. Want another surefire way to reduce stress at work? Many experts recommend physical activity to combat stress. Our bodies benefit from a surge of endorphins, deeper breath and a little time outdoors. Encourage the use of 15 minute walking meetings, easy to do if your meetings are still virtual while you work remotely. These are a perfect way to touch base on projects and get some steps in during the day.
Placing these practices into your workplace will perpetuate a healthier culture. It also promotes happiness and wellbeing among employees, and shows that you’re in full support of this year’s healthy resolutions. In addition to these easy-to-implement strategies, many workplaces participate in wellness or wellbeing programs. For example, Priority Health offers PriorityWell, which allows companies to choose a package that’s perfect for their current health situation, size and budget. Talk to your health insurance company about the many wellbeing options available to you, and remember to have a happy—and healthy—2021.
About the Author: Rebecca Mason, RDN, is a registered dietitian/nutritionist. She is passionate about helping families and individuals improve their health through nutrition education and nutritious food access. Rebecca is certified in adult weight management, and has a background in both clinical nutrition and wellness programming.