16 Jan 2023

Blue Monday – It’s now more important than ever to check in with your employees

January is a hard time of year for most people.  It’s a return to work after all the festivities, where many people may find themselves in debt after paying for Christmas.

Also, the days are still short with long winter nights ahead for the next few months until spring starts.

It is for this reason the third Monday in January has been billed the most depressing day of the year – or Blue Monday as it’s now known by some[i].  This January may be even harder to bear, as 2023 looks set to be another difficult year for people’s finances.

The cost of living continues to bite with inflation still at record levels, energy bills are due to rise again in April after a small increase in January[ii] and more Bank of England interest rate rises are also expected.

For employers too, as well as dealing with the impact of the cost of living on their business, they may well be facing the Great Resignation again.

Recent research by Unum UK[iii] revealed that nearly a fifth of the UK workforce plan to look for new jobs in 2023 with higher salaries or better employee benefits to help combat the cost-of-living crisis. They also found that 16% expect to have to take on second jobs to stay afloat.

It’s therefore never been more important for employers to check in with employees to find out how they are, what challenges they may be facing and what career aspirations they have.

One way to do this is through regular appraisals and performance reviews and January is the ideal time to start these off for the year.

These are an important way to ensure that people are performing well and can help give people motivation and a morale boost that can improve productivity. Giving feedback and showing someone how they can progress in their career can also improve retention.

Research by StaffCircle[iv] found that 61% of employees would consider leaving an organisation if they didn’t have frequent feedback. Lack of progression opportunities was also one of the common reasons for employees leaving an organisation.

To make sure appraisals are carried out on a regular basis investing in software such as Activ Appraisals from Activ People HR can be really beneficial, especially now more people are hybrid working and not always present in the office.

This is a cloud-based tool designed to make the process of managing employee appraisals and performance reviews simpler and more effective.

Companies can often find they forget to do them if they use manual or paper-based systems but using this software will ensure they are scheduled at regular intervals.

It helps managers prepare for an appraisal or review, and to record all feedback from the employee and their peers, so they always have a full picture of their employees’ achievements or challenges.

It also enables managers to review previous performance and assess if objectives and core competencies have been met.

Companies keen to check in on the wellbeing of their staff this January and provide some positive feedback and encouragement to kick off the New Year should make appraisals a priority.

For more information on Activ People HR click here.






[i] https://metro.co.uk/2020/01/20/blue-monday-saddest-day-year-12087919/

[ii] https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/news/2022/11/energy-price-cap-to-rise—but-don-t-panic/

[iii] https://hrnews.co.uk/cost-of-living-crisis-expected-to-spark-the-great-resignation-of-2023/#_ftn1

[iv] https://www.thehrdirector.com/business-news/employee-experience/appraisals-go-awol-and-so-do-employees/