Blue Monday is supposedly the most depressing day of the year and happens on the third Monday each January.
This year it falls on Monday 15 January 2024, and whilst the origins of Blue Monday are said to have been started by a travel agency as a marketing campaign to make us buy more holidays, mental health in the workplace is an ongoing challenge for many organisations.
We’ve put together 6 ideas and initiatives to support your team and boost morale, not only on the most depressing day of the year but for the rest of the year too.
Review your company perks & benefits
Perks might seem like a ‘nice to have’ but employees are expecting more from their workplaces than ever before. In fact 55% of 18-35 year olds believe a good benefits package is the most important thing they look for when searching for a job.*
There are many different types of perks or benefits you can offer your team, from private medical insurance, discounted gym memberships and yoga classes to vouchers / discounts off shopping to stretch salaries further.
Perk schemes cost businesses very little in the grand scheme of things but it demonstrates you care about your employees’ wellbeing and is a small gesture of appreciation for them.
Offering an Employee Assistance Programme
From as little as £1 per employee, per month, an employee assistance programme (EAP) can provide additional, anonymous support to employees from people outside of the workplace and often includes a 24/7 confidential help line where they can get help on a variety of topics.
Some EAPs offer counselling sessions to manage stress and anxiety along with a variety of mental health resources.
Mental Health First Aid courses
Mental Health First Aid training has become popular in many workplaces.
A mental health first aider (MHFA) is a qualified person who is trained to spot the signs and symptoms of mental ill health and provide help and support in a ‘first’ aid capacity.
MHFAs provide a point of contact for employees who are struggling with mental health issues and/or emotional distress. Their role is to offer initial support by listening and then, if appropriate, direct the person to professionals who can provide detailed help and guidance.
We provide mental health first aid training courses, run by a qualified health & safety consultant either at your premises or ours. Speak to us for more information.
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One-to-ones & Line Manager Training
Never underestimate the benefit of regular one-to-one’s with line managers and their team. 1-2-1s help build connections and encourage open conversation, helping managers to spot the signs of poor mental health early.
You can read our full article here which gives you 8 practical tips to run successful 1-2-1 meetings.
Utilising occupational health
If you notice colleagues are taking more sick days than usual or are taking extended periods of time off, consider using an occupation health provider.
One of the primary intentions of occupational health is to provide advice to management, enabling them to manage an employee (and their health situation) effectively and appropriately.
This could mean understanding what an employee can and can’t do and putting in the necessary support to help them get back to work.
One of the reasons Blue Monday is said to be the most depressing day of the year is due to financial concerns. Whether that’s overspending during the holiday season, a long wait between December and January’s paycheque or longer-term financial worries.
There are a few things you can do to help your employees’ financial well-being.
Our first suggestion is by reviewing your team’s salaries using a pay benchmarking exercise. This will ensure your employees are being paid correctly and on par with the rest of the market. This could be a particularly beneficial exercise to help you retain employees because they know they’re being paid fairly and are less likely to look for a better paid job elsewhere.
Pay & rewards
Secondly, consider your pay and rewards offering. Do you reward good work or have a structured bonus or incentive scheme in place? Reward and recognition is key to building a positive and productive workplace culture.
Workplace pension review
Lastly, did you know you can actually save money as an organisation by changing pension scheme providers? Pensions are an important benefit to many, with the Zest report suggesting 30% of employees wanted increased pension contributions. By reviewing your pension scheme you can give your employees more, whilst costing the business less.
Get in touch for a free consultation from our group business Corinthian Benefits to discuss your pension scheme.
Support managing your people
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