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Three Ways to Help your Staff Through the New Year Slump

Monday January 21, 2019

Engagement | Communication | Wellness

Posted on: Monday January 21, 2019

It’s the least wonderful time of the year.

Monday 21st January, also referred to as ‘Blue Monday’, is widely recognised as the most miserable day of the entire year, despite only being in the second week. This is commonly due to people being riddled with Christmas debts, the bad weather and the guilt of all the festive food consumption. At the end of January 2018, there was a total of 1,230,957 people that had been in contact with helpline services - with  1,015,083 of these being adult mental health services.

However, there are multiple ways you can help your staff avoid this New Year slump.

Being Realistic

One of the main contributors to New Year blues is the unfulfillment of self-set resolutions. Every year, we sit down and write a list of things we want to improve upon in the coming period, and the likelihood is these are less attainable than we think. This is where people begin to get ahead of themselves and promise more than they can deliver, especially within their jobs with hopes of being rewarded - ultimately resulting in guilt and disappointment. In order to avoid this, encourage your staff to make realistic work and personal goals, as in turn, this will increase sense of worth upon completion and they will feel motivated to perform other tasks; and are likely to perform them to a higher standard.  Giving incentives to do these jobs will help both you and your staff, which also increases productivity. At this point in the year, the most effective rewards would be discounts, as with the ghost of Christmas finances’ past looming; people are eager to save the most money they can. You could also consider implementing a wider set of financial initiatives, including financial education and fairer finance loans. It’s important to remain on top of your finances year round, instead of just fighting fires as they come.  

Being Active

Whether we like it or not, it is a well-known fact that exercise makes you happier. When you exercise, endorphins are released into your body and this increases the level of dopamine transmitted to your brain. Dopamine, a chemical that plays a role in happiness, is a neurotransmitter in the brain that’s necessary for feelings of pleasure and happiness.

So, in order to increase not only our physical wellbeing, but our overall happiness; we need to be more active. However, the common excuse (and valid reasoning) of avoiding being active, especially when employed in a stationary 9-5 job role, is lack of time and energy. So, why not implement exercise-based incentives to help encourage staff to get moving this January? This could be something as simple as a step challenge, or a cycle to work scheme, which encourages staff to take their physical health into their own hands in a way that suits them.

Being Sober

After the festive drinking throughout December, many people adopt what is known as ‘Dry January’, as a way to start the year a bit healthier than the way they ended it. Once again, with the incentive from employers to engage with these New Year traditions, it not only benefits the business, but it’s workers. After last years participation in Dry January, 71% of participants throughout the UK reported improved energy levels, 70% of people reported weight loss and 63% of people reported better sleep after completing a month off alcohol. These are all benefits that improve the productivity of work, but more importantly, improve quality of life outside of work also. Driving participation in these events can really help improve the overall health of your workforce, something which can be achieved through an effective internal comms system. Make sure to publicise those who are participating and perhaps even encourage charitable donations to help encourage them to stick with the challenge.

January can be a pitiful month for everyone. These tips can help encourage your staff to stay happy and productive, something which is always a challenge, let alone when the entire nation is in a bout of gloom.

For more information on how to make your staff work happier, book a demo today

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