Friday January 10, 2014
Today is known for being the most depressing day of the year; the day when individuals feel most ‘blue’. The festive period is over, credit card bills are landing on the doorstep, purses are starting to feel the pinch, there’s no let up in bad weather and employees across the globe may feel dissatisfied at work. It’s therefore no surprise that Blue Monday (in fact most of January) leaves people feeling unhappy, unsatisfied and disengaged in all that is around them.
This is why it’s time, and we urge you, to stamp out the doom and gloom of Blue Monday by making it a day of positivity - setting you up for the rest of the year. And then challenge yourselves to keep engagement and happiness levels high throughout 2014. After all, whether it’s Blue Monday or not, if you’re people aren’t productive then you / your team won’t be achieving - a recent study by Dale Carnegie and MSW found that companies with engaged employees outperform those without by up to 202%.
Here are our top three Blue Monday antidotes...
1. Take a spoonful of culture– each year research highlights the growing importance of a clear culture and values in relation to employee happiness. Without these how are employees supposed to understand ‘what we stand for’ and ‘how things are done around here’; working cohesively towards success? Make Blue Monday ‘Values Day’ – if your business has values, explore what these really mean for the organisation and for you and your role. If you don’t, suggest to your manager, HR department, even CEO that these should be defined and communicated. Use this time to also get to know your own values as these can help you make important decisions in your personal life. In ‘It’s Never OK to Kiss the Interviewer’, author Jane Sunley outlines a simple way to identify what you stand for by providing an easy to use Values Tool.
2. Add a dose of achievement focus – it’s an age old adage however it stands true; your people are your greatest asset therefore engaging them and giving them enough support to achieve their company and own targets / goals is incredibly important. Use January to review and celebrate achievements form the previous year; demonstrating that you and your team have a reason to be proud of what you did in 2013. It’s also the perfect time to create a buzz by working within your team, or with your manager, to gain a crystal clear focus on the year ahead; agreeing your plan for ensuring it’s an even greater success than the last.
3. And top it off with a sprinkle of empowerment – employees are most happy when they have the freedom to carry out their role and are empowered to make decisions. This includes within their own career superhighway. Understand aspirations – where do your people want to be? What does your future look like? And then put support in place to help drive towards this goal. You may have access to different technology platforms, such as the Talent Toolbox: Pathway module, which clearly showcase different career paths within your business and what needs to be done to advance through the stages. So whether you want to be an Executive Chef, Sales Manager or even Managing Director, be clear about where you’re heading and then work with your manager to create the opportunity and undertake the development required.
So go ahead and mix up your Blue Monday antidote; making sure you make the most of this day by beginning 2014 on top.