What is Blue Monday?
Blue Monday is a term created by Sky Travel in 2005 to help them sell more holidays‼!
Typically the 3rd Monday in January is now referred to as Blue Monday as it is cold, dark and the credit card bills from Christmas have all arrived. People are told that they should be feeling ‘blue’.
Created by marketeers to encourage people to buy holidays and have something to look forward to, the day is made to feel gloomy, sad and depressing. Over the years, it has also become a day when some employees start to look for new jobs. They have returned to work post Christmas and it is the same old thing. All the elements of their job role or the company culture haven’t changed and for those who are not happy in their role, the start of the third week back can be tough.
Employers have the ability to counter this mindset and ensure that employees are not affected by a phenomena which is in their head and has been created by a marketing team. Managers have the ability to ensure that employees feel valued and are not feeling ‘blue’ because they are told they should be.
Retention and engagement of staff is vital, especially at the moment when there are so many empty vacancies around. It is expensive to recruit and train new staff, so all reasonable efforts should be made to show your current staff that you value them and that your workplace is a good place to be.
What can you do to show your team some love?
There are lots of things you can do to ensure your team know that you value them, regardless of how geographically spread you are.
- Gifts – If you are going to give gifts to your staff it is important you think about the appropriateness of the gift. Giving wine to a non-drinker or chocolate to a diabetic is going to make the person feel like you don’t care and will back fire. You don’t have to give everyone the same gift, but you should ensure that any gifts you give are roughly equal in value. Vouchers for their favourite shop, a plant for the house, a credit on Deliveroo, a cookbook are just some of the ideas our clients have used recently.
- Team get togethers – This isn’t always practical, but there are some great ways to get together in person or online. We recently ran a low key away day and it was fantastic just to be in a room together. We had a room much bigger than we needed and left the door open, so we were a bit cold, but the interaction and the ability to bounce ideas off each other was so refreshing. Other events I am aware of include a day of sheep herding, murder mystery games, cheese and wine tasting and cooking. All in person, or online (although the sheep is very much in person).
- Surveys – People want to feel listened to, so doing a staff survey and asking for feedback is very powerful….. as long as you then take action. It is essential that you act on the feedback you are given and then link the actions back to the feedback so that you are encouraging more and better quality feedback in the future. Plan the survey carefully and the output can act as a catalyst for greater success in your business.
- Team meetings – These are easily forgotten and undervalued. Team meetings, when properly run, can be incredibly powerful and enable an organisation to achieve huge amounts in much shorter timeframes. Having the right people ‘in the room’ who understand what needs to be achieved and the timeframe in which to achieve it can dramatically cut the time taken to make decisions and to bring plans to life. People want to feel valued, so be respectful of their time and ensure that your team meetings are as short, but as effective as possible.
- Mindfulness – I am not woowoo, but Mindfulness has proven scientific benefits for us all in ALL aspects of our life. In our recent team meeting Rebecca ran a mindfulness session which, although it only lasted for 15 minutes, left us all feeling energised and engaged. There are lots of guided mindfulness exercises available, so do some research and think about treating all your team to a daily session of mindfulness to improve their wellbeing and productivity.
What can you do today to combat the Monday Blues?
Pick just one of the above and announce it to the team. Be passionate about it and enthuse your team with genuine excitement. Remember, they will want to know what’s in it for them, so place your staff at the centre of your planning.
Blue Monday is a marketing construct, refuse to be told how you should feel and take action to ensure that you and your staff show Blue Monday the door…… for good!