January gets a bad rap when it comes to perception, it’s dark most of the day, often wet, cold, and miserable weather and on top of that we put all our hopes into changing our lives. It’s no wonder it’s the month that we see things like blue Monday, Divorce Day and ditch your resolutions day.
All that pressure on us to perform better, and that’s on top of the pressure that December must deliver happy memories. You see, when we have huge expectations on ourselves to achieve the gold star standards it’s no surprise that often, we ultimately fail.
I don’t know about you but I’m not about all that end goal focus, I mean it is super important for success that we have those end goals and dreams, but it’s far more beneficial that we focus on the here and now. On what we can and will achieve today, what healthy practices we can introduce to our routines that can help drive us forward.
For example, let’s take ‘Blue Monday’ as that falls next week on 16th January. It’s labelled as the most depressing day of the year, where motivation is dwindled and we’re most likely to give up on resolutions and goals.
Now, with the cost-of-living crisis, NHS crisis, and the transport network strikes, it’s likely that employees are already feeling heightened stress levels, add in any personal issues and the wellbeing may be at an all-time low. Introducing initiatives related to events like these are great for awareness but it’s what we can continue to do to support wellbeing in the workplace that will ultimately have a long-term impact on the lives of our employees.
As HR professionals and people managers, we are in a very privileged position to be able to create a real impact on employee wellbeing and resilience. Here’s some considerations for support in your workplace:
- Review workloads regularly, this can help support with reducing any unnecessary stress and anxiety for employees
- Signpost employee assistance programmes, many of which offer access to services 24/7 to help with stress, anxiety, financial support, and guidance
- Signpost ways that employees can improve their physical wellbeing too, it can really help to boost energy levels and concentration and give added motivation to support other areas of their life
- Encourage employees to look after their health, give access to local support groups, guidance and benefits that can boost medical cover
- Discuss career progression and opportunities for development and training
- Signpost company benefits and support/advice for things like pensions, financial planning & budgeting, and bike to work schemes
We are all different and what motivates us differs too, that’s why it is important to consider offering a wide variety of benefits and support. Getting employees opinions and input really is key, especially in today’s climate. The more you can offer to help support alongside salary that really matters to them and compliments their life, the better.