Two words for Blue Monday

17 January 2022

It’s Blue Monday! Yes, the day that some PR a few years back contrived to set up as the most depressing day of the year based on some nonsensical equation, and now the annual trigger for a tide of manufactured stories to give Sunday editors something to fill their Monday editions with. Exhibit A - "Joyful beauty treats to banish Blue Monday". The main takeaway of all the wailing? Folks are miserable, with being cheesed off at work a contributory factor, and need to make a bold life decision to turn things around.thank_you

We could take the opportunity to make an as subtle-as-a-house-brick play for the need for business leaders to address such malaise, to try and pep things up with, ooh, let’s think, the roll out of a shiny new employee app to boost the mood across the workforce...but that's a serious - and seriously good - idea that we'll come back to on a more serious day. (What's tough for people today will be tough for them tomorrow, next week, next month...the help has to endure long after the headlines have scrolled on by)

Instead, we’d like to share a small but mighty learning nugget on morale: one of the most powerful ways of turning someone’s Blue Monday into a red-letter day is to utter two magic words: ‘thank you’. (Be quiet at the back there – ‘new job’ is not the answer)

Analytics and anecdotes tell us that the ‘thank you card’ feature we have in our employee app is probably the single most influential tool there is pound for pound. For all the big stuff you can do, there is nothing that quite compares with that simple gesture – and the kind thought that prompts it - of finding a colleague in the app’s directory and popping them a ‘card’ with a message of gratitude. The sender has the glow of knowing they’ve done a nice thing, and the recipient? “It means a lot when your mates take the time to say thanks – I was chuffed” pretty much explains the dynamics of it all.

We fondly remember one of our clients who on seeing the analytics from the first three months after go-live couldn’t quite accept that the most popular tool in her new employee app by some margin was the Thank You cards – the old paper nomination forms having been mainly used as paper planes and Fantasy Football team sheets. But remember, as ‘The 80 Minute MBA’ business bestseller so pithily had it, ‘people stay for their mates’. There’s a deep well of fellowship and solidarity in the workplace – given the chance and the ready means, colleagues are only too happy to tap into it.

Which is heartening because Blue Monday will shortly segue into Frightful February and that will really test everyone’s spirits. So please keep those thank yous coming. Ta very much.





#employee engagement, #rewards and recognition, #colleague engagement