If you are based in the UK, you may have heard the Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, declaring that there is a ‘sick note culture’– that is, that too many people are being formally recognized by their family doctors as being too ill to work.

But is this true? And if it is, are workers genuinely becoming less healthy – or are they simply less resilient to everyday ailments?

Well, the evidence suggests that we can rule out resilience as an issue. Recent research has found that almost 3 in 5 (59%) of UK employees say they haven’t taken time off work sick, either due to illness or injury, despite needing to.

What’s even more striking is that there has been a noticeably lower rate of absence from sickness from those who work from home.

Indeed, it could be argued that rather than witnessing the emergence of a ‘sick note culture’, what we are seeing is a culture of presenteeism beginning to rear its head again. But this time it has taken on a new form – a form that has adapted to remote working styles.

One of the main concerns around remote working has always been the fact that this style of work can blur the line between the home as a place of comfort and as a place of work.

The home symbolises solace and relaxation for many, but with a lot of us now working from home, it can sometimes feel hard to fully switch off from ‘work mode’ and switch on to ‘home mode’. And it now appears that we are starting to see this blurring of boundaries with sickness, too.

Pre-pandemic, if you didn’t feel well, you would be advised to take the day off, rest up, and then return when you felt better. But this notion has changed with the ‘normalization’ of remote working. Now, if an office-based or hybrid employee wakes up and isn’t feeling well, they may ask themselves – or sometimes even be asked – to work from home for a few days whilst they recover.

It’s important for employers to keep this in mind when a remote employee is unwell. Just because they now have the means to do their job from home, doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be taking the appropriate time to rest and recover. After all, it is very likely they won’t be working at an optimum when unwell anyway, so it can be best to advise they take the time to heal so not to compromise the quality of their output.

And contrary to the Prime Minister’s claims, hybrid and remote employees may actually need to be encouraged to take sick days!

If you would like to discuss how we can help develop wellbeing strategies geared towards hybrid and remote working, please get in touch with us.

Every year, 12 billion working days are lost worldwide to depression and anxiety, costing the global economy $1 trillion, predominantly due to the debilitating effects they have on productivity.

As we continue to see employers make strides towards creating psychologically safe workplace cultures, a key component for supporting the immediate needs of employee wellbeing is an employee assistance program (EAP). EAPs are outsourced mental wellbeing services that are designed to support employees who are facing personal or professional issues, and will tend to offer services such as counselling, a 24/7 support line, work-life balance support, legal and financial advice, referral services, and manager training.

With the importance of mental wellbeing continuing to rise, what should HR consider when selecting an EAP for their organization?

Firstly, it’s essential to assess the scope of services offered by the EAP, which should be as broad as possible to include more complex support such as substance abuse assistance and crisis intervention services. By offering diverse services, employees are more likely to find the support they need, enhancing their overall wellbeing and, in turn, reducing absenteeism.

In addition, HR needs to consider the accessibility of the service. Employees should be able to easily access the support they need when needed, whether through phone consultations, online resources, or in-person counselling sessions. Having this user-friendly platform and streamlined referral process will encourage employees to utilize the program and seek assistance without hesitation.

The privacy and confidentiality policies of the EAP provider should also be considered. It’s important that employees feel comfortable seeking help without fear of their personal information being disclosed to employers or team members, as this will help to build trust with the program and ensure that it is properly utilized.

Another consideration would be the cultural competence of the provider. A diverse workforce requires culturally sensitive support services that are inclusive and respectful of different backgrounds and beliefs. Partnering with an EAP provider that understands and respects these cultural nuances ensures that all employees are receiving appropriate and effective assistance tailored to their unique needs.

Lastly, HR needs to be cost-effective when choosing an EAP. While investing in employee wellbeing yields long-term benefits (such as improved productivity and engagement), it’s essential to evaluate the return on investment of different program options.

Once a program has been selected, don’t hesitate to gauge employee satisfaction with it. Ask those employees who have used the services and get a sense of whether it is making a difference for them – and identify areas where it could be improved. An EAP should evolve and adapt to meet the changing needs of the workforce, and having consistent feedback helps to ensure it remains a valuable investment.

If you would like to discuss how we can support your company with choosing the best EAP – or any other wellbeing support you may need – please get in touch with us.

Health and safety in the workplace has always been paramount, but in recent years the agenda of health and safety has evolved. This is because in the post-COVID era, many employers have realized that psychological safety plays an important role in optimizing team and organization performance. This sentiment is echoed by the workforce; an overwhelming 89% of employees believe that psychological safety in the workplace is essential.  

The term psychological safety was coined by Amy C. Edmondson, professor for leadership and management at the Harvard Business Review. She defines this as “a shared belief held by members of a team that the team is safe for interpersonal risk taking”. In other words, employees feel free to brainstorm out loud, voice half-finished thoughts, and openly challenge the status quo.

What tends to get misconstrued, however, is the idea that a psychologically safe work environment is one where everyone is always nice and agreeable. While psychological safety encourages openness and the freedom to express any and all ideas without fear of judgment, it does not diminish the importance of debate and disagreement. Instead, it is about creating an environment where everyone knows that disagreements can be worked through and resolved together.

Knowing what you are trying to achieve from creating psychological safety is extremely helpful when it comes to strategically mapping out the path to get there. The above definition can serve as a starting point; specific considerations may be taken into account based on a company’s unique culture.

So, when building psychological safety, where is the best place to start?

First, a leader must have a realistic and accurate understanding of their personal impact on the workforce. For almost 70% of people, their manager has more impact on their mental health than their therapist or doctor, so it is important for a manager to be able to acknowledge and accept the role they play – and the influence they have – in creating a healthy working environment.

Next, define the desired outcome from creating psychological safety. From there, pinpoint the behavioral and organizational culture changes that need to be made to achieve the desired outcome. Several key components of psychological safety involve skills such as active listening, compassion, recognition, and inclusion. But it is also about feeling safe to be wrong, to take risks without fear of retaliation, and to work through healthy challenges rather than defending against accusation.

Creating this environment takes time. Those employers who are willing to make the effort to delve beneath the surface level needs of psychological safety are the ones who can unlock its greater benefits: increased productivity, higher engagement, fewer absences, more effective collaboration, and a stronger commitment to the organization.

Psychological safety cannot be built overnight, and mapping the path to achieve it requires intentional and thoughtful action – as well as the right support. This is where OrgShakers can help, from coaching your leaders to identify their impact on the team to pinpointing exactly what cultural strategies will best align with the needs of your company to ensure employees feel psychologically safe at work.

If you would like to discuss our services in more detail, please get in touch with me at amanda@orgshakers.com

The US Surgeon General recently declared an ‘epidemic of loneliness and isolation’ in the US. Meanwhile, in the UK, a new study discovered that a third of workers have a high mental health risk which is being driven by workplace loneliness.

The above statistic is very telling of the fact that a person’s work life plays a huge part in helping to alleviate feelings of loneliness. After all, we spend a vast majority of our time at work, so it’s no wonder that the relationships we form there would have influence over our health and wellbeing.

So, what can employers do to help foster social connection in the workplace?

Firstly, striking a balance between in-person and remote working. Hybrid work has proven to be favorable, but it has its drawbacks; whilst some find it allows them to have a better work-life balance, others have cited that working digitally can contribute to feelings of loneliness. There is no one-size-fits-all solution to this, but it seems that employers who are creating opportunities for social interaction to take place will help to ward off feelings of loneliness and isolation.

However, it’s important to remember that if you want employees to come into work physically, there must be a purpose behind it! Make sure you are doing the more collaborative, innovative work on those days in the office, and not work that they could very easily do from home.

Secondly, it can always be good for employers to host team building events. Not only does this allow for departments within a company to mix and mingle, but it also allows for employees to have the opportunity to bond over something that is not work-related.

It is important to consider that those who have been feeling lonely may also be feeling less confident in their socialising abilities, and so this should be kept in mind when deciding on an exercise that could unite employees.

For example, have staff take part in some volunteer work for the day. This ultimately removes the pressure of socialising as there will be things to attend to, but at the same time it is an environment that is outside of the workplace, and so will hopefully help to encourage more organic connections to form. Plus, it contributes positively to an employer’s corporate social responsibility initiatives!

Lastly, having mental health support programs in place. Those employers who have invested in Employee Assistance Programs will be able to signpost staff that are struggling through the correct channels to get them support with their wellbeing. Choosing not to invest in mental health support can sometimes seem like a necessary sacrifice to cut costs, but ultimately, the worsening mental health of employees will end up costing employers so much more in the long run. One study even estimates that stress-related absenteeism attributed to loneliness costs employers $154 billion annually in the US.

Those employers who are actively investing in supporting and preventing loneliness are helping to improve the physical and mental wellbeing of their staff. There are many studies that suggest that stronger social ties are linked to increasing the likelihood of an individual’s overall survival by as much as 50%. There is also a growing body of evidence that suggests that our brains actually function better when we’re interacting with others and experience togetherness. In contrast, when people feel lonelier, they tend to have higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which can leave them much more susceptible to burnout.

Whilst loneliness may seem like a trivial issue, it can have a huge effect on the productivity of your teams, as well as their engagement levels. When your people are your most valuable asset, investing in their wellbeing will likely prove to be the best way of optimizing their capabilities.

If you would like to discuss how we can help implement strategies to mitigate workplace loneliness, please get in touch with me at Brittany@orgshakers.com

Many of us are likely familiar with the famous collection of photographs, Lunch atop a Skyscraper, which depict a group of workers in very precarious – and notably unsafe – positions during the construction of the Empire State Building in 1932.

Charles Clyde Ebbets

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Whilst the images are visually stunning, they also highlight a key fact about the state of health and safety regulations almost 100 years ago – they were nearly non-existent!

But over the years, the importance of health and safety in the workplace has increased exponentially all across the world.

In the US, occupational health and safety truly began in 1970, with the passing of the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act, and was further improved in 1971 with the establishment of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which helped to transform the health and safety landscape into what we now see today.

Similarly, in the UK, the first notion of health and safety becoming a legal issue was in 1833 with the introduction of the Factories Act. However, health and safety was only truly brought to the forefront and addressed on a mass scale with the passing of the Health and Safety at Work Act in 1974.

A common thread throughout the history of health and safety at work is that it has always been focused on the physical safety of workers. Today, with new laws in place and with the help of HR, physical risks at work have been significantly mitigated.

This begs the question – what is the next step in the evolution of health and safety?

And the answer that’s emerging is psychological health and safety.

A hundred years ago, the idea of considering one’s mental health a matter of safety at work may have seemed strange – especially to those high-altitude workers accustomed to leaping between girders! – but in the modern world, mental health is a growing area of focus.

One study found that 89% of employees now believe that psychological safety in the workplace is essential. The concern for mental health has been catapulted to the forefront for many due to the pandemic, which brought into perspective the importance of feeling content and supported at work, as it made many realize that life is short and they want the best out of it (we subsequently dubbed this the ‘carpe diem’ mindset).

With psychological safety now lining up alongside wider health and safety concerns for employers, the role of HR in managing this expanding wellbeing portfolio is paramount to ensure that employees are getting the support they need.

If you would like to discuss how we can guide you in this process to ensure that the health and safety needs of your workplace – whether physical or psychological – are being met, please get in touch with us.

Around this time last year, I wrote a piece in response to the rising trends of ‘quiet quitting’, ‘quiet firing’, and ‘quiet hiring’ that begged the question: why are we being so quiet? Why are these issues not being spoken about loudly?

In that context, the ‘loud quitting’ phenomenon we are seeing now has been a bit of a surprise!

Loud quitting has taken TikTok by storm – indeed, it’s also been dubbed ‘QuitTok’ – with workers very publicly quitting their jobs by recording or live streaming themselves doing so … and then posting the results on social media.

The thinking behind this is that workers are feeling empowered within themselves to take control and leave a job they feel was not invested in their wellbeing.

And it’s a rapidly growing phenomenon. The hashtag ‘QuitTok’ has already amassed over 100 million views on TikTok … with X and Instagram postings adding to the melee.

The idea of naming and shaming an employer and posting this on the internet is a generational one; Millennials and Gen Z have grown up digitally native, and so the concept of sharing what was previously considered a very private thing has become much more normalized with the rise of social media.

There is also the influence of ‘cancel culture’ at play. Many young people believe that exposing bad behaviour publicly on the internet is justifiable, and we are seeing this ideology in action with the ‘loud quitting’ trend.

So, what is the key takeaway for HR?

Primarily, this trend is highlighting how important wellbeing support is to younger workers.

Where once it was all about how much you earned, in a post-pandemic world gripped by a ‘carpe diem’ mindset, the younger generations are seeking more than just compensation. They want work-life balance, flexible working, and support for their mental wellbeing.

Whilst the concept of posting yourself quitting online is a bit extreme, it does also highlight how far workers are now going when it comes to seeking proper support.

As well as this, this phenomenon brings to light just how powerful “stay” interviews can be for organizations. These should be harnessed as valuable sources of feedback and insight into workplace issues. This paves the way for employers to begin to address these problems so to improve the retention rate of their staff and shape their future workplace culture into one that better aligns with the needs of their workforce.

If you would like to discuss how OrgShakers can assist you in creating a roadmap for implementing wellbeing strategies, or how we can help to optimize your off-boarding processes, please get in touch with us.  

Happy employees are productive employees – 13% more productive to be exact.

But in days past, keeping an employee ‘happy’ was usually intrinsically linked with the amount of money they were being paid. If their salary was good, and their performance was methodically rewarded, then this tended to spark contentment in the general worker.

However, we are now beginning to discover that making employees happy is no longer that straightforward. Matt Phelan’s recent book The Happiness Index is a testament to this, as it identifies the 24 sub-drivers of happiness and engagement at work. Yes, 24! But of these, there are some that have a stronger driving force than others; a recent survey from Wondr Health discovered that 30.1% of employees believe that building friendships was the key to fostering happiness at work, in comparison to only 12% who cited financial freedom. What’s even more interesting to note is that financial freedom ranked fourth, below physical and emotional health and wellbeing (21.5%) and engaging in activities that spark joy (16.8%).

Our own poll findings affirm this notion, as when we asked respondents what makes them feel happiest at work, 49% said it was the people they worked with, and 40% said it was the purpose their job gave them.

So, why is salary less of a concern, and what has taken its place as the key factor for fostering employee happiness?

There are two primary forces at play: the post-pandemic mindset and the flood of Gen Z into the workplace.

Since the pandemic, there has been a ‘carpe diem’ mindset emerge. After being faced with our mortality, it’s become common to use this as a point of reflection and determine what we really want to do and achieve with our time. This has driven a major shift in focus towards wellbeing, physical and mental health, and work-life balance. A report from Hays confirms this, as it revealed more than half (56%) of employees are willing to accept a lower-paid job in exchange for a better work-life balance.

What’s working in conjunction with this shift is the fact that Gen Z are now embedded into the workplace, with 27% of the workforce expected to be made up of these younger workers in 2025. With this influx of young talent also comes new ideals and values; Gen Z are the first generation to be socialised in a world with the internet readily available, and so it is no wonder that what they value and expect from work has evolved. For example, 77% of Gen Zers only want to work for a company whose values align with their own. They are more eco-conscious, they don’t shy away from previously taboo topics such as mental health, and they are notably the most diverse workforce in history.

As employers look to attracting new young talent into their businesses, they need to consider that a decent salary – whilst important – is not enough on its own to foster happiness and contentment amongst employees. Instead, salary is playing second (or maybe even third) fiddle to the rising importance of work-life balance and wellbeing support. If you would like to discuss how we can help you implement these changes into your talent attraction strategy, please get in touch with us.

I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.”

He may have achieved fame as a country music singer in the 1960’s, but Jimmy Dean’s observation could easily have been about the current state of organizational change.

The winds of change have been howling through the working world; the disruptive forces of new technologies, generative AI, the broadening scope of diversity, equity, and inclusion and the assimilation of hybrid and remote working have created a HR hurricane.

These changes are all potentially positive for business, but they are happening at a pace that has been exponentially accelerated by the pandemic. What would have been a gradual integration of the hybrid working format became a sudden and forced shift to remote working which companies either had to adapt to or be left behind.

And yet, although lockdown posed a situation where employers were forced to adjust their sails, the changes that we are seeing now can be best navigated not just by responding to the direction of the wind – but also by anticipating its patterns so to be one step ahead of it.

Here lies the big question: is your organization ready for change?

A recent report from Gartner discovered that 82% of HR leaders believe their managers are not equipped to lead change – and this is exacerbated by the fact that 77% of employees are suffering from change fatigue.

Change fatigue occurs when the volume and pace of change becomes overwhelming for employees. This can have detrimental affects on employee wellbeing and productivity, but despite this only 8% of workers feel confident in their plan to manage their fatigue.

The pace of change in the working world is not predicted to slow, so for those organizations looking to keep in stride – and get ahead of – this new pace, they need to be building change fatigue prevention strategies into their equation for organizational transformation success.

Org Transformation Equation

Currently, most employers will integrate change through clear communication paired with good training. But as we watch the corporate world evolve, so do our approaches to how change is implemented. Weaving change fatigue management into this equation ensures that managers are better equipped to coach their teams on how to effectively identify fatigue drivers, fix any that arise, and start to look at how they can be prevented altogether (this looks like normalizing rest, microbreaks, employee involvement, creating a psychologically safe space, etc.).

What is critical to these prevention strategies being successful is understanding that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to mitigating change fatigue. Different types of employees are going to need different wellbeing support – and if employers are able to look at wellbeing needs through an intersectional lens, then they will be able to efficiently support their people through the intensity of these changes.

An example of this is midlife workers; many of our established wellbeing programs are centred around younger workers (parental leave, childcare support, etc.) whereas older workers will have entirely different needs to this (menopause support, working carers support, etc.). Bridging the wellbeing gap will strengthen your efforts when managing change fatigue and ensure that the other 92% of employees feel confident in their ability to manage their change fatigue as they will have the right support in place.

This will see your business set sail on the high seas of profit, productivity, and employee satisfaction.

If you would like to discuss how we can help implement strategies around wellbeing and change fatigue, please get in touch with me at david@orgshakers.com


David Fairhurst, OrgShakers Founder

David Fairhurst is the Founder of OrgShakers. He is widely considered to be one of the world’s leading HR practitioners and is a respected thought leader, business communicator, and government advisor.

Elmo, one of the furry stars of Sesame Street, is beloved by kids and parents alike for his sweet, wholesome nature. But things took a dark turn on Elmo’s social media last week—a situation that, employee wellness experts say, should raise the alarm for HR leaders.

The character took to X, formerly known as Twitter, on Jan. 29 with a simple question: “How is everybody doing?” And followers did not hold back.

“Every Monday, I can’t wait for Friday to come,” wrote one commenter. Another said: “Elmo, I just got laid off.” Comments included phrases like “existential dread” and “grief” and touched on topics from abortion to anxiety about the upcoming presidential election. “Elmo, we are not OK,” one poster summarized.

While the post generated plenty of humorous fodder, it highlighted the ongoing challenge for HR leaders: addressing employee wellness in increasingly uncertain and unstable environments.

Read the full piece here: https://hrexecutive.com/did-elmo-just-light-a-fire-under-hr-to-confront-the-employee-wellness-crisis/

The HR is focused on managing every aspect of an organization’s ‘human’ capital.

As the importance of this historically under-optimized resource has been realized, however, we have seen the role of HR grow exponentially, especially as the scope of diversity, equity, and inclusion continues to expand alongside the almost perpetual introduction of new and emerging technologies.

It’s no surprise, therefore, that a fifth (22%) of HR directors are feeling ‘very stressed’, and almost three in ten (28%) feel there are too many demands on their time. The survey by Barnett Waddingham went on to reveal that 17% were unable to keep up with the pace of change at work.

And this raises an age-old question for HR professionals: when we start to burn out, who is our HR?

The answer can differ depending on what type of HR professional you actually are.

For those in-house corporate HR leaders, there are likely going to be internal support networks at the company they work for which they will have access to. Just as they will assist in implementing strategies to help reduce burnout amongst employees, these same strategies can be used to help alleviate their own stresses. Additionally, those that are members of the CIPD have access to a 24/7 helpline for any support they need (and for those HR professionals over in the US, SHMR members are offered a similar service!).

What can also be extremely helpful for those working in corporate HR is the recalibration of their role expectations. The world of HR is always expanding, and so as new considerations begin to come under HR’s scope of operation, it is important for these professionals to re-evaluate their job role with their employer and determine whether the increased workload needs to be distributed differently.

However, managing burnout when you are an independent HR consultant can be slightly trickier.

HR consultancy continues to gain popularity as a way of working for HR professionals (76% of organizations currently outsource one or more major HR function) which is why I founded the Leap Into HR Consulting programmes back in 2019 …to help senior HR professionals make that transition from corporate to consulting life (much like I did!).

A key part of the support we offer is understanding what you can do to alleviate stress and ward off those feelings of burnout that can come creeping in.

For one thing, being a consultant can often be perceived to be isolating. You do not have a team of head office functions behind you – so everything falls to you.

Juggling these many roles can be overwhelming, and what I have found to be truly effective in mitigating this sense of isolation is joining a community of consultants (either online or in person).

Having a sense of kinship can do wonders for your mental health, and it is so important to upkeep this when working in a consulting position.

Which leads me nicely onto my next point – you need to be in tune with yourself.

Understanding your needs and what makes you feel happy, healthy, and stimulated are going to be imperative tools for when you do feel a sense of burnout incoming. Be honest with your capabilities and set appropriate boundaries around your work to ensure that a work-life balance is being maintained that prioritizes your health and mental wellbeing. And considering that independent consultants have the additional worry of client retention and their own financial wellbeing on top of the burgeoning responsibilities that now fall to HR, it is imperative to have a wellbeing strategy in place for yourself.

If you would like to discuss HR wellbeing in greater detail and what services myself and OrgShakers can offer you, please get in touch with us.


Sarah Hamilton Gill Headshot

Sarah Hamilton-Gill FCIPD

Managing Director

Globus HR Consulting Ltd

sarahhg@globushrconsulting.co.uk

Sarah-Hamilton Gill is the Founder and Managing Director of Globus HR Consulting Ltd. With over 29 years of experience in HR consulting, Sarah is widely regarded as an expert in the field of coaching HR professionals who are taking the leap into the HR Consulting world.

If you ever find yourself feeling anxious, sad, and/or stressed out as your Sunday comes to a close, you may be experiencing the Sunday scaries.

These feelings can be brought on for a number of reasons, whether that be stress from the week of work one has ahead of them, sadness about having to say goodbye to the fun, relaxing weekend, or angst from personal problems that have to be shelved as the working week begins again.

This phenomenon is more common than employer might think; one LinkedIn survey found that 75% of working Americans say they experience the Sunday scaries. This is an alarming amount of people who are starting off their work week on a bad note, and this can translate into productivity and engagement levels.

Setting the right tone for the week ahead can make all the difference with keeping a team engaged. After all, studies show that happy employees are noticeably more productive, and so employers should be considering what they can do to change that feeling of dread Monday brings into a feeling of excitement.

This is where the Monday Mantra comes in; employers should start considering creating their own unique mantra’s that they can use to bring the team together and ensure that the working week is starting off on a positive, stress-free note. This can take shape in a number of different and creative ways:

  • Do a quick team meeting to start the day – this would see the team leader start Monday off by bringing everyone together and having an open discussion. Set goals for the week, ask what anyone in the team might need assistance with and where, and top this off with a fun and inspiring mantra that is rooted in the company’s mission. This can really help to recalibrate employees as they wean off the weekend and ease them into the week ahead, while also making it seem significantly less daunting.  
  • Check-in with 1:1s – it’s very likely that a company will have a system where they set up one-to-ones, and these are a great opportunity to discuss in a more private and confidential setting about any feelings of angst or stress someone may be having. It can sometimes be difficult for someone to switch out of their personal life persona and switch into their professional persona, especially those who have other responsibilities beyond the workplace, such as childcare or caring for a family member. If team leaders are able to discuss these needs openly and sensitively, they will be able to better offer support where they can.
  • Be clear about the support available – make sure that staff are aware of the mental wellbeing support that is available to them, whether that be an employee assistance program, externally outsourced support, or wellbeing apps such as Calm or Headspace to help manage anxiety.
  • Introduce ‘No Meetings Monday’ – a more creative approach to warding off the Sunday scaries could be the introduction of a ‘no meetings Monday’, as this has been seen to help improve productivity and ease employees back into work mode.
  • Have a ‘desk yoga’ session – Yoga is well-known to be an effective destressing tool for the body and the mind, so why not try and incorporate it into a Monday Mantra? Desk yoga is a fun new exercise which has been designed for someone to be able to do at their desk, making it perfect for setting the tone on a Monday morning!
  • Plan ahead to Monday – team leaders can also be coaching their employees to plan their Monday’s before they leave work on Friday. Part of the angst can come from the element of feeling a sudden flood of responsibility after a weekend away, and so if employees are planning out what their Monday will entail, this will likely make it much more approachable as a task.

In some instances, employees who are frequently feeling the Sunday scaries may be a symptom of a deeper problem. This can either be an issue rooted in the company culture that is making them not want to come to work, or it could be a lack of motivation for the work they do. In both instances, we can help by conducting a cultural audit to identify where the issue may be and create strategies to tackle this. As well as coaching leaders to consider new ways of innovating the workday, such as creating ‘squiggle room’ with job crafting to breathe new life into a role.

If you would like to discuss this in more detail, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me at victoria.sprenger@orgshakers.com

Ah, January.

After a month packed with festive traditions, colorful lights, and more food than many of us would care to admit, it is quite natural to find yourself in a bit of a slump as the new year kicks off.

This feeling is known more commonly as the ‘January Blues’ (or the ‘Winter Woes’ if you love a little bit of alliteration). This is a common phenomenon where individuals experience a sense of depression, lethargy, or just a general decline in mood during the first month of the year. If we think of December as a rush of adrenaline, January is that feeling when the adrenaline wears off and reality comes creeping back in.

Whilst this sense of ‘feeling down’ can usually fade after getting back into the groove of things, for some it can linger longer. For example, financial stresses that may have been exacerbated by the holiday period are not going to vanish when we tip over into February. Equally, those that suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD) tend to struggle during these winter months.

So, when looking to re-engage employees in January and support their wellbeing during this post-festive slump, it is important for employers to view this month as a springboard for the momentum of their wellbeing strategy for the entire year, and not just fixate on wellbeing in January and then let this momentum wane as the year goes on.

And, let’s be honest, we can all be a bit guilty of this at this time of year! Some of us will have signed up for that new gym membership and started taking part in Veganuary only to discover that these resolutions quickly fizzle out. Suddenly the gym membership is just another card cluttering your wallet – and no amount of carrots and hummus can stop you daydreaming about cheese!

But in the same way persevering with the gym will improve your health, companies that maintain their wellbeing efforts throughout the whole year will find themselves with the strongest and most productive workforce, and will avoid falling into the trap of ‘wellbeing washing’.

Wellbeing washing is essentially when companies express their passion towards mental and physical health but don’t actually demonstrate this through their practices or actions. One study found that more than a third (35%) of businesses are perceived by their employees to be wellbeing washing.

The key to avoiding this slippery slope is consistency and clarity. Wellbeing is an issue that has moved up the corporate agenda in recent years – especially post-pandemic – and so it is important for employers to be consistent in their efforts to support the wellbeing needs of their workforce all year round.

And while having happy, healthy workers is already going to be good for brain health, innovative thinking, and boosting productivity, a study by Mind also discovered that 60% of workers think that if their employer made steps to support their wellbeing at work, it would increase their motivation and the likelihood of them recommending their company as a great place to work.

The best thing employers can do is be aware of those looming January blues and make it clear to their staff what support is on offer (either internally or externally) and how these services will help them with their specific needs. This keeps organizations true to their promises of bringing wellbeing to the forefront and creates a culture that promotes the mental and physical health of employees – all of which promotes a healthy business for the year to come.

If you would like to discuss how we can assist your business with its wellbeing strategies, please get in touch with us.

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