Beat the ‘blues’ in your workplace this January, and beyond…

Beat the ‘blues’ in your workplace this January, and beyond…

The start of a new year marks the start of people trying to undo the ‘damage’ caused by the over-indulgence and excessive expense of Christmas. Many of your employees will be in the midst of making healthy lifestyle changes in the form of new fitness regimes, diet plans and banning the booze. But coupled with the festive financial fallout, bleak weather and it simply feeling like the longest month of the year, January is a recipe for low mood, morale and motivation at work.

We’re all familiar with the January blues, but what can you do to stop it causing problems in your workplace?

Here are our top tips to support your employees and ease them back into normality this January.

1. Offer debt support

The festive period promotes excessive spending which means some of your employees will have started 2020 in debt. This can be extremely worrying and cause a lot of stress for people, especially with some having to make their salaries stretch an extra week because of early December pay.

Debt support is therefore a valuable benefit that you can provide to help your employees tackle their debt head-on, remove worry and improve their financial wellbeing in the process. There are many debt management and advice services out there that you can use to provide this all-important support. PayPlan is one of the UK’s leading debt advice providers and, through their service, have helped over 1 million people.

Did you know? PayPlan’s debt management service is just one of the many financial wellbeing services we deliver through our health and wellbeing platform the zone.

2. Provide money-saving benefits

According to debt advice charity National Debtline, 16% of British people – which equates to 7.9 million people – say they are likely to struggle with their finances in January after spending too much at Christmas. To relieve this problem, you can help your employees make their money go further with money-saving benefits.

Why not give your employees the opportunity to save money on their everyday purchases and more with shopping discounts? A platform where employees can log in and easily find amazing discounts and offers will instantly make January feel a little less blue.

To use our advantage platform as an example, employees can save money and earn cashback when they shop at the big name supermarkets, high street retailers, popular online stores and more when they log in. Also available on the platform are discounted cinema tickets, restaurant deals and offers on experiences, so employees don’t have to spend their weekends at home during January.

Benefits that allow your employees to save money are valuable because they help employees minimise any financial difficulties they may face in January and beyond.

Did you know? Our advantage platform also features a discounted fuel card which means employees are guaranteed to pay a cheaper price at all BP fuel stations across the UK – a fantastic benefit especially for employees who have long commutes.

3. Create social opportunities

Social interaction can be a great remedy for the blues, so why not organise some fun activities to give your employees a boost? Creating opportunities for your employees to chat with colleagues in a relaxed setting will ease them back into the work environment, give them a chance to build and strengthen work relationships and may even provide a safe space for them to voice any worries and concerns they may have.

Supporting your employees’ social wellbeing is important for your culture (you can read more on that here). So, whether it’s organised business-wide or arranged at a department/team level, make sure you find ways to bring your employees together this month to mitigate the effects of the ‘January blues’. This tactic is useful at any point during the year to make sure your employees are feeling happy and connected to each other.

4. Set goals and create incentives

After the fun and excitement of Christmas, it can be difficult to instantly get back on track and regain a clear sense of direction at work. If you’re noticing a dip in morale, a lack of motivation or an air of indifference among your people, one the best things you can do is give employees a clear goal to work towards with an incentive to add further impetus.

A reward platform is a great way to implement an incentive scheme whether it’s year-round or seasonal. With ereward, for example, clients can deliver specific incentives for different types of employees which could be sales or performance-related. They can set up leader boards so employees can compare their progress with colleagues and give Managers the ability to deliver rewards too.

Goals and incentives are great motivators for employees year-round, but especially useful at points in the year, like January, when productivity and morale are at risk of diminishing. To work successfully, it’s key to make sure your incentive scheme is accessible, inclusive and the rewards are meaningful to employees. A ‘one size fits all’ approach won’t be effective so take some time to plan some incentives that will genuinely work.

While January is often considered the ‘most depressing month of the year’, these tips can be applied throughout the year to keep your employees happy, motivated and engaged. It’s also very important to point out that people struggle with their mental health and overall wellbeing year-round. What might appear to be the post-Christmas blues, might actually be a more serious problem, which is why having a comprehensive wellbeing programme is so vital for employers.

To find out about our health and wellbeing solution, click here.

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