Blue Monday - How to keep up employee engagement.

18 January 2021
Blue Monday - How to keep up employee engagement.

As the ‘most depressing day of the year’ dawns organisations should be prepared to explore ways that can encourage more positivity and productivity.

The start of 2021 has already been very difficult, with individuals across the UK once again being asked to stay at home in order to combat the spread of coronavirus. Organisations could therefore almost be forgiven for forgetting about Blue Monday, which is usually labelled as the most depressing day of the year. In normal times, poor weather and the end of the festive period is said to be most keenly felt on the third Monday in January, and this is something that may be even worse this year due to the situation. With more staff working remotely, or having to undertake tasks they may never have been asked to before due to the pandemic, it is essential that organisations operate with the mental wellbeing of their workforce in mind.

An unengaged and demotivated workforce can be highly detrimental to the demands of a working day within an organisation, potentially leading to issues with their general output and attendance levels. Workers who do not feel appreciated or satisfied within their current role are more likely to leave the organisation and look elsewhere for employment, especially if they feel under supported during this difficult time. Whatever the reason why employees are not fully engaging in their jobs, organisations should work to counteract this wherever possible.

One option to explore is the distribution of anonymous staff satisfaction surveys that can help to gauge general feelings on the workplace and its environment. It may be that some employees feel they would like increased opportunities for professional development, which could be facilitated through additional training options or a buddy/mentor scheme. The survey could also highlight additional areas that need improvement such as the current options in place to assist working mothers or disabled workers.  Although the organisation may not be able to take action in response to all issues raised, a completed questionnaire can help to highlight if workers are generally satisfied or if more does need to be done to encourage this.

  If you would like more of a personal approach, Pink Fluff HR can talk directly to your teams and gauge general feelings too.

Managers should consider ways that they can encourage a more positive working environment on their teams. For example, practicing continued altruism, by ensuring that members of the team are given compliments for their achievements, can be highly motivating for an employee. If the organisation does offer company perks managers should make sure that their workers are aware of anything that might benefit them at that time. To this end, the organisation might introduce a specific perk in situations where employees may be feeling increased levels of pressure or demotivation, such as situations of larger workloads. Productivity may suffer as a result of this so it is also good practice to incentivise tasks in order to encourage work to be completed in a full and timely manner.

It should be remembered that there may be other reasons why employees are struggling within their daily roles, such as a delicate personal situation or developing mental illness, and that they may require additional support from the organisation.  It would be beneficial to ensure that Managers are  fully trained on responding to issues of mental wellbeing and be aware of how to effectively support and rehabilitate staff. Organisations may also consider using an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) that can offer ongoing, anonymous assistance to all workers.