We are well into the New Year now and you and your employees may have been feeling enthused and confident about the year ahead. However, on Monday 18 January you may have been feeling a little low, because that day is known as Blue Monday: the gloomiest day of the year.
Blue Monday has been awarded to the third Monday of January using a formula that takes into account weather, debts accumulated, time since Christmas, failing New Year’s resolutions (already), and low motivational levels among others. Whilst the theory that the whole population feels blue on the exact same day at the same time every year has been questioned, this time of year really can be difficult for individuals, especially if they are struggling with their finances.
What’s the issue?
January is one of the worst times of year for people who struggle financially. This is because individuals often don’t save up in advance for big events like Christmas and end up buying some presents, decorations and all the trimmings with credit. Then in January, they get hit with a big bill. If individuals let themselves fall into bad habits like this, then it can be tricky to break the cycle and get out of debt. If your employees have never learned how to manage their money and are feeling the pinch in January, especially after the early paydays in December, then they get their credit card bill on top, they could head into a downward spiral. Their happiness and motivation will plummet, and stress about their finances will begin to creep in.
We have talked many times about the dangers of stress and letting it go unchecked; it can lead to severe mental and even physical illness. It’s important to treat the cause of stress, not just the symptoms, and one of the biggest causes of stress, especially this time of year, is money worries.
What can you do?
Helping employees to be better with their money and financially prepared for events in the future decreases money worries and stress. Employees who are in control of their money will be happier, more motivated at work generally and more engaged with you as an employer because they feel that they are valued.
Preventing stress caused by money worries doesn’t just mean providing employees with access to an adviser or pointing them towards dedicated charities. It’s important to prevent any serious symptoms like stress by dealing with the root problem: poor money management and bad habits. Employers can provide much needed financial education to help their employees be better with money. Better money management means employees can avoid problem debt, know how to budget and are happier and less stressed. See what some organisations have been doing to combat the blues on Blue Monday.
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