The third Monday in January is reportedly the most depressing day of the year, and often termed ‘Blue Monday’. The day is known for having a notably higher proportion of staff absences, and for HR teams, is just another thing for them to manage at an already busy time of the year.

So, with Blue Monday fast approaching, here are 5 ways you can motivate staff to keep them sat firmly at their desks this year.

Get planning

Informing your employees of your business objectives for 2020 and how they will each play a key role in achieving them can be extremely motivating. By keeping them in the loop and setting targets, they’ll have something to work towards.

On the more social side, planning a team building activity can also increase motivation and enhance staff morale.

Encourage healthy lifestyles

Studies have shown that employees who are fit and healthy are much more engaged and productive at work. By offering free healthy snacks and fruit for staff, employees will experience less withdrawal symptoms following the cheese and chocolate binging over the festive period.

A more long-term strategy – many employers are even offering gym memberships and Cycle to Work schemes for staff as part of promoting a more healthy workplace.

Highlight successes

As 2020 kicks off, take the time to sit your team down and discuss the successes of last year. It’s important to acknowledge and praise your employees’ contributions, as they’ll feel valued and motivated to continue working effectively. Even something as simple as a ‘thank you’ can go a long way.

Be positive

Although the prospect of a new year can seem daunting, it’s important to remain positive yourself, because how you react and behave will reflect on your team. Be enthusiastic, motivating and encourage positive attitudes wherever possible.

Build strong relationships

Research has proven that creating strong friendships and connections can boost feelings of wellbeing. Make more of an effort this year to get to know your team better – eat lunch together, talk about what they did over the weekend and so on. Your employees will be far less tempted to pull a sick day and instead, contribute to team efforts.

Whether it’s January or any other month, absence should always be monitored so you can pick up on patterns of non-attendance, identify the possible causes and address the issue before they become a long-term problem.

Start your free, 30-day LeavePlanner trial today.

For any queries, call Steve on 01252 636 070 or email