January 21, 2019

Blue Monday: 10 Employee Wellbeing Initiatives to Help Your Employees Banish the January Blues

Today is the third Monday in January which is dubbed “Blue Monday”. Allegedly it’s the most depressing day of the year.

The thinking behind this concept is the festive season is well and truly over and your pre-Christmas pay cheque feels like a lifetime ago. Plus, you’re struggling to keep your New Years Resolutions, despite your best intentions.

The post-Christmas period can leave employees feeling down, unmotivated and unproductive. Our recent survey conducted in January 2019 found that 35% of employees feel “kind of average” about being back at work after the Christmas break. What’s more, 35% admit they feel “pretty miserable”.

Here are our top 10 tips to boost employee wellbeing and banish the January blues…

1. Share business goals

Firstly, set business objectives for the year ahead and share them with your employees. By engaging employees in the planning process, you’ll make them feel more valued and boost morale, getting them excited for the year ahead.

2. Celebrate success

Reflect on the success your organisation has experienced in 2018. Recognising success is a great way to keep your employees motivated through the dark days of winter.

3. Pursue something new

Encourage your employees to identify and pursue short-term goals. For example, taking ownership of a project, task or a role that gives a more immediate sense of satisfaction during this blue period.

4. Get holiday planning

Your annual leave entitlement has renewed, so perhaps it’s time to book a holiday? Give yourself something to really look forward to and get you through those dark, winter days. Before the holiday requests start flying in, ensure your holiday calendar is up and running. Likewise, ensure your employees are clear on their holiday entitlements for the year ahead. Remind employees of your holiday request procedure (and any restrictions regarding taking holidays at peak periods).

5. Refresh the workplace

Take this opportunity to refresh your workplace, de-clutter, tidy up and start afresh in 2019. Why? Because a positive working environment can really boost employee wellbeing and increase activity in the workplace. Simple changes can really make a difference.

6. Improve the body

Regular exercise is proven to reduce stress, improve self-esteem and relieve depressive tendencies. So consider ways in which your employees could build exercise into their working day. Perhaps by staggering working hours, arranging group walking sessions at lunchtime, or promoting a cycle to work scheme.

7. Feed the mind

The brain is energy-hungry and a balanced diet is important to keep it working properly. Give your employees the tools to educate themselves on balancing their diet by arranging a visit from an on-site nutritionist and/or circulating leaflets/web links. If you’re able to, ensure healthy options are available in vending machines or canteens – and remember to replace the pre-Christmas chocolate tins with bowls of fresh fruit.

8. Bring a little laughter

Laughter is a proven mood booster. So why not raise team spirits by arranging a morning or lunchtime quiz to get those chuckle-muscles moving?

9. Introduce mood music

Music can really help to improve employee wellbeing. If it’s appropriate you could consider introducing some music in your workplace to help the days go with a swing until spring.

10. Show your employees that you really care

Employee benefits are much more than just a little add-on for your staff – they’re essential in creating a culture that shows you care about your people and their wellbeing. Our benefits platform is suitable for all business sizes. It provides thousands of discounts, offers, cashback, advice and more, with everything you need to manage your scheme at your fingertips.

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About the author

Hannah Booth