Whether or not you believe in the formula behind the phenomenon of Blue Monday (a term apparently devised by a Dr Cliff Arnall, describing the most miserable day of the year), it’s clear to everyone that January is a bit of a depressing month, not least when we return to work after a potentially long break during which we let our hair down and relax.
In the run up to Christmas, most of us are enjoying a slight sense of freedom; we’re drinking more, going to more parties and feeling a communal sense of love and happiness with our fellow human beings.
In a work context, many SME’s will have organised Christmas parties, exchanged gifts, given bonuses and generally made their staff to feel appreciated and part of the happy work family over this festive period.
But how does this play out into the New Year and beyond, when it’s back to the grindstone, catching up with everything which was inevitably side-lined slightly in those last few days, and feeling that there is less of a valid ‘excuse’ to bond and interact with your team.
In its severest form, this type of negative engagement can lead to apathy, withdrawal, resentment and negativity. There are peaks and troughs in all walks of life, but Christmas must be the time of year where it is most prominent (apart perhaps from the post-summer holiday blues).
So, what can you do to combat this negative engagement following the highs of the holidays? Once Christmas is over, it doesn’t mean that the fun, engagement and bonding should stop. Not in the form of continuous parties, of course, but investing in plans to maintain the feeling of positive engagement, bonding and ‘being part of the team’.
Spread the love over the year!
To coin a phrase, looking after your employees should be for life, not just for Christmas. Employees love a Christmas party, but they also want a continuous commitment from their employer that they are valued, nurtured and trusted, and that they are thanked and recognised for their achievements throughout the year, not just over a glass of bubbly in a tinsel filled room.
Team building is a proven way to improve employee engagement, and providing the opportunity for employees to participate in activities proves to them that their employer is committed to their continuous development.
We’re always going to be a bit grumpy in January, but do your employees a favour, and get something in the diary for them to look forward to while they come down from their mince pie and wine high!