January is one of the most exciting times of the year for businesses, with the promise of another 12 months to implement change, hire new staff where applicable and, hopefully, go from strength to strength. However, when it comes to your current employees, morale is often low after the buzz of the festive season has worn off, and parties, mince pies, and Christmas films are swapped with early mornings, busy commutes, and endless meetings.
Do you know what Blue Monday is? Well this year, on the 20th January, Blue Monday will sweep the nation. This day is considered to be the ‘most depressing day of the year’ due to a range of factors including the weather, failed New Year’s resolutions, debt, and the amount of time since our last payday (let’s face it, December is an expensive month for even the most budget-savvy of us).
We are trying to encourage Managers to help employees beat the ‘New Year Blues’, and increase office morale after the festive season.
Promote a better work-life balance
It’s not hard to identify why people feel exhausted after the Christmas Break. After a week or two of sleeping in, festive parties, and sitting on the sofa watching films, the dark, damp, early mornings can make it difficult for employees to readjust to their regular working day (I’m sure you’re feeling it too!).
Reviewing your employee perks can help you identify how to promote a better work-life balance. For example, offering flexible working such as the ability to work from home when needed, can be very useful. Additionally encouraging staff to leave on time and also take their full lunch break will also help staff to feel rested and recharged.
Highlight how staff can develop and build a roadmap for opportunities.
Opportunities for development are now more important to employees than ever before!
With such a skill short market it is now the new normal for people to “hold between 10-15 jobs in their lifetime (with 12 being the average), it shows that many won’t hesitate to move on if they feel their current role doesn’t offer them the best opportunity to develop their skills and career.”
As January is the start of a new quarter for many organisations, it’s the ideal time to work with your employees to set personalised goals and highlight the year’s opportunities.
Not only will setting clear goals help to keep your staff focused on their work (which will increase their motivation as they’ll want to work harder to reach these goals), but if they’re both small and realistic, this will increase morale by giving them a sense of achievement when these are completed.
Have some fun!
One of the easiest ways to beat the New Year Blues and ease your employees back into working life is by ensuring they are having fun! At Cherry, we try and take teams out to lunch at their favourite spots, after work drinks on a Friday, music in the office and just to encourage an open dialogue about how staff feel and how we can help to lift them back up!
January Blues isn’t something you should fear and it isn’t something you should ignore either. Mental health and morale go hand in hand. If you need any advice on how to talk to someone who is suffering with depression please visit www.mind.org.uk