Why January is a great time to kick off your workplace wellbeing programme

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The holiday season, particularly Christmas and New Year, often becomes a time of indulgence, with increased consumption of alcohol and chocolate. As the festivities wind down and we bid farewell to the last remnants of our selection boxes, January can be a challenging month for many when it comes to finding the energy and motivation to dive back into work.

Depending on where your employees reside, January may seem gloomy, with cold, dark nights devoid of festive decorations, Christmas trees, and twinkling lights. Adding to this atmosphere, the New Year brings a sense of reflection and contemplation as people ponder what they want the upcoming year to symbolize, what they wish to achieve, and how they aspire to grow and develop.

Yet, even the mere thought of change can be daunting for some employees. Our internal lizard brain craves familiarity and repetition, making change an uphill battle. This is one reason why 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail by February.

Instead of embracing change, a lack of motivation, decreased energy levels, and the New Year blues can steer employees toward the path of least resistance, causing them to stick with their familiar routines rather than strive to achieve their New Year’s goals. Excuses begin to emerge, with thoughts of how things will improve or be different when the days get longer, work becomes less demanding, or the kids can walk to school on their own. The human mind is adept at finding reasons to maintain the status quo because familiarity holds value.

However, there is also a part within employees that longs to kick-start the New Year with a surge of energy. This part desires increased vitality, shedding a few pounds, and engaging in physical activity. It yearns to use time more productively, rather than mindlessly zoning out in front of Netflix each evening.

January presents an opportune moment to launch a workplace wellbeing program or initiate a new workplace wellbeing strategy. Doing so can inspire your workforce, boost motivation, and help them stay on track towards achieving their goals.

Wellbeing programs and employee webinars that educate about the body’s physiology, the influence of food on mood, and methods to maintain energy levels throughout the day can infuse health and vitality into your workforce.

The New Year can be emotionally and mentally challenging for employees. Emotions may run high after the Christmas period, as January has earned the unofficial title of “Divorce Month” due to increased divorce filings. Additionally, those who spent the festive season alone may struggle with feelings of isolation and depression. Some employees may be highly emotional due to a family member battling cancer, and it may have been their last Christmas together.

The New Year is not solely about weight loss and fitness. It is an opportunity to holistically support employees, helping them start the year on solid footing mentally, physically, and emotionally, and keeping them there.

If you have a wealth of ideas but are unsure where to begin with your January wellbeing campaign, consider downloading our free e-book on workplace wellbeing. This resource provides valuable questions that will guide you in developing workplace wellbeing initiatives tailored to meet your employees’ needs while remaining aligned with your organisation’s strategic and commercial objectives.

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