Think that old adage about making a New Year’s resolution to improve your health is just a tired cliche? Think again.  Two new reports find that employees in Canada and the U.S. want their employers to help them get healthy.

While many companies are already using a combination of workplace health services and financial incentives to improve the health of their employees, workers in both countries say they want more help from their employers in getting and staying healthy.

To improve employee health and productivity, employers are increasingly offering programs such as employee assistance programs, health risk assessments, and others, according to a report from Aon Hewitt. Making sure that employees and their dependents are aware of these programs is a weakness for most companies, according to the research. (In other words, if they are, in fact, in place the EAP needs to get the word out about the wellness effort!)

In 2011, more than one-third (36%) of consumers did not participate in any health program or service offered by their employer, the research found. Among the programs that workers DID participate in, blood tests or biometric screenings were the most popular (61%), followed by health risk assessments (57%).

Despite low participation, when workers DO take part in these programs, satisfaction is extremely high, the research found.

Additional sources: Live Science, Employee Assistance Professionals Association,   This article appeared in the January 2012 issue of Employee Assistance Report. For more information, go to the EARN  link at