Blue Monday: More than a marketing myth?

Stephanie Byrne-Roche

January 20 2020

Monday, January 20th. The third Monday of the month, otherwise known as ‘Blue Monday’.

Having begun as a marketing ploy in 2005, Blue Monday has stuck around. It’s said to be the most depressing day of the year for several reasons. These include the long gap between paydays, the cold, dark weather conditions, and failed new year’s resolutions.

If you ignore the effects of these midwinter factors, they can all add up to an unmotivated, disgruntled workforce. It’s important to remember that a lack of motivation isn’t isolated to just one day either. It can happen at any time. So, how can you go about ensuring your employees stay motivated and happy in their roles?

Motivating employees

What one employee finds motivating, another may find uninspiring. That’s why it’s important to find common ground. And the best way to do that? By engaging with your employees.

Monthly staff surveys, for example, are excellent ways of gauging employee motivation levels. Are they interested in their work? Are they happy with the terms of their contract? Do they see their career progressing with your business?

The answers to these questions will help you establish common pain points among your employees. Then, armed with employee feedback, you can pinpoint the most important issues to address. Doing so will allow you to identify and improve areas that employees previously had issues with.

Wellbeing initiatives

Over the last number of years there’s been a notable focus placed on employee wellbeing. Employees are demanding greater work-life balance and better ways of working. Employers are responding by implementing a range of initiatives, including:

  • Flexible or remote working
  • Free fruit/breakfasts
  • Early Friday finish
  • An Employee Assistance Programme (EAP)

These are all useful ways to remind your employees that you’re trying to improve their work-life balance and overall well-being.

Keep your door open

More serious issues can lie at the root of an unmotivated employee’s problems. Among them are mental health issues such as depression.

Maintaining an open door policy can help such an employee and your wider workforce. Among the open-door benefits are:

  • Better employee/management relationships
  • Increased happiness among employees
  • Greater trust
  • Higher retention rate
  • Increased productivity

A knock-on effect of such benefits is that your employees will be happier. If an employee does come knocking, discuss their issue and what you can do to relieve their stress.

Do managers know how to handle mental health issues?

Employee mental health isn’t just tested in January, a mental health issue can strike at any time. Your managers should know how to identify and support employees who may be suffering from mental health issues like stress, anxiety and depression.

Managers need to know how to spot the signs that an employee might be suffering from a mental health issue. It’s equally important that managers know how to provide appropriate support to a colleague who needs assistance.

Need our help?

If you would like further complimentary advice on employee motivation from an expert, our advisors are ready to take your call any time day or night. Call us on 1890 252 923 or request a callback here.

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