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Jennifer Benz January 5, 2017 2 min read

Reinforce wellness programs and employee benefits this new year


It’s the first week of the new year, and your employees have vowed to exercise, eat better, save more, and manage stress.

Your first instinct is to take advantage of this New Year’s-resolution window of opportunity to promote your wellness programs—both health and financial. We like your thinking! As an advocate for wellness, you know you won’t always have such a motivated audience. To help ensure your efforts generate the results you intend, use the following tips to contribute to your—and their—success.

Don’t annoy employees with the typical cheesy stock photos, generic statements about healthy living, or the-sky-is-falling reminders about soaring health care costs. Photos of people eating salads and depressing numbers about New Year’s resolutions or dramatic stats about the cost of health care are not going to motivate anyone.

Instead, educate employees and their families about the practical ways your company supports their unique goals. Give them clear, easy-to-digest details about what is available, where to find it, and how to sign up. By sharing tips that will help them accomplish their goals, you can help employees stick to their resolutions. Our favorites include starting with a small goal (such as working out for a few weeks, which is less daunting than all year), sharing their resolutions with friends and family, focusing on when they do well (not when they mess up), and planning well. Research shows that the act of scheduling time for an activity greatly improves results. (We love reading the Heath brothers',  books about great ways to motivate people. Check out “Switch” and “Made to Stick.”)

Not sure what to promote? Think about all the ways you support employees and their personal goals. The start of the year is an ideal time to:

  • Remind employees about onsite wellness services and activities and any incentives you have in place to support your programs. Also, promote the often-missed programs available through your medical carriers and other vendors.
  • Remind employees that preventive care exams are fully covered and encourage them to schedule annual doctors’ visits for themselves and their families.
  • Encourage them to take advantage of covered immunizations—including flu shots—to keep themselves and their children well.
  • Promote underused benefits, like your EAP, legal services, and other voluntary benefits.
  • Highlight the tax and other advantages of saving more in their 401(k) and HSA accounts—and (for those who qualify) making catch-up contributions.

These resources may be just the ticket your employees need to sustain their good intentions and help them get that much closer to meeting their personal goals in the new year. From our team to yours, best wishes for all the new year has to offer.

Jennifer Benz

Jennifer Benz, SVP Communications Leader, has been on the leading edge of employee benefits for more than 20 years and is an influential voice in the employee benefits industry.