HR & Management
How to save your staff from Blue Monday
6 min read
14 January 2020
January is the month when employees are most likely to hand in their notice. What can be done to make them stay?
Many employees tend to feel a bit down in the dumps during the month of January. After all, many are suffering from a low bank balance from Christmas as well as a larger waistline. This leads many to diet and budget, and all while bracing cold and dark January mornings to get to work.
No wonder they’re depressed.
Many employees are still feeling a little foggy from the long Christmas break, and while they’re warming up their work brains again, they’re likely dreaming of moving on to greener pastures.
These greener pastures could be a promotion, a pay rise or simply a company with what they consider to be a better work culture.
The dates that matter
Before you think this is all conjecture, there are studies out there proving that January is the most popular month for an employee exodus. While 20 January, (Blue Monday) is supposed to be the most depressing day of the year, there are other dates during this period that employees should be aware of:
A report penned by office space providers, Instant Offices show that most Brits are likely to hand in their resignation letters on 31st January, with February 4th being the most likely day to pull a sickie to attend interviews.
Why are workers fleeing?
Here are the top five reasons why employees look to hand in their notice at this time of year:
* Low salary (35%)
* Job tenure (23%)
* Monotonous or boring work (22%)
* Job location or length of commute (20%)
* Disapproval of their boss or line manager (18%)
How to retain staff
As an employer, the thought of your workforce vanishing before your eyes come the 31st is certainly a scary prospect, so what can be done to make them stay?
1. Don’t be stingy with pay rises
A UK TotalJobs poll showed that 68% of employees hadn’t received a pay rise or promotion in the last year, leading to unhappiness at work. So if you want your employees to remain committed to their jobs, it’s definitely time to stop stalling and offer a raise.
2. Bring in more teamwork
Encourage your team to collaborate on a challenging client project or pitch internal projects with co-workers. Collaboration and teamwork can increase creativity, help strengthen relationships, create a more positive work environment and boost confidence. Some studies also suggest team partnerships can even increase productivity at work.
3. Upskill Your staff
Boost a sense of fulfilment at work by helping staff to learn a new skill. Research by The World Economic Forum shows that over a third (35%) of skills that are considered important today will change in five years, meaning you must keep your finger on the pulse of what skills are valuable in a changing workforce. This will show staff that you are invested in their career development, which will give them an incentive to stay.
5. Prioritise mental health
The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, (CIPD) found that 23% of British workers feel their organisation doesn’t take employee wellbeing seriously, yet more than a third of the UK workforce experience anxiety, depression, or stress. With this in mind, it’s imperative to recognise the signs that an employee might be suffering from mental health problems. Employers must also implement health and wellbeing initiatives where they can.
6. Step out of the office
Try to discourage employees from taking lunch at their desks. It isn’t natural to stay seated for so long, and research shows that Brits spend around nine hours a day sitting down at work – a sedentary lifestyle that takes its toll on bodily and mental health. Making room for standing desks in the office could be a good place to start.
7. Stay busy
A rising number of UK employees are admitting to being bored at work, with many thinking their existing skills are being wasted. Boredom at work is a significant source of stress and can lead to depression and disinterest. Ensure your workers take regular breaks during long tasks. Even when you’re facing quiet periods, allow your employees to keep busy by learning a new skill or pursuing personal goals that can assist with their career.