Blue Monday and the evolving role of HR teams

selective focus of hr lettering on wooden cubes on table

Chris Goulding, Managing Director of Wade Macdonald shares his thoughts on the role of the HR team this Blue Monday.

One-third (35 per cent) of UK employees consider changing jobs after the festive period. It makes sense; two weeks of festive fun to reflect on the year, bond with family and friends, and contemplate what you’d like the year ahead to look like, people are bound to welcome a pair of wandering eyes.

Blue Monday comes at a very convenient time. It’s the dreaded day where everyone truly feels the effects of January and the idea of finding greener grass on the other side begins to creep in. It’s important that employers and HR teams pre-empt the impact of this if they want to prioritise team wellbeing, staff retention, and talent attraction.

The need for support and clarity

Our latest research into how the world of work really changed in 2021 found 68 per cent of the professionals surveyed said their employers have taken active steps to improve mental health support – up from 57 per cent in April last year. This is a promising step forward, but there is still progress to be made.

When we delved deeper, we found 1 in 5 employers are still not offering flexible working models, and over half (52 per cent) of workers are yet to discover what their company’s long-term flexible policies will be.

From these findings, it’s evident that not only are employers still failing to listen to their staff’s needs by offering home or hybrid working, flexible hours, and compressed days, but they are keeping their staff in limbo over the future of their careers.

Surely, given the overall mood of staff and the state of the current job market, employers should be pulling out all the stops to improve staff health and wellbeing? Employers and HR teams must prepare for Blue Monday, if they haven’t already, by laying out clear wellbeing and work/life balance strategies.


The power that a little flexibility can have on job satisfaction is unmeasurable. Flexi-hours, time off in lieu, and offering, at least, some days working from home gives employees the ability and freedom to juggle both personal and professional responsibilities.

In what is already a difficult time for many, an understanding workplace with a focus on staff wellbeing can only benefit your company’s success in the long run and help to work towards the overarching organisational goals. Happy team, happy business.

In the same vein, HR teams and employers need to maintain a level of transparency. Long and short-term plans, goals, and direction align staff members with the company ethos and values. All of which add meaning and purpose to a career. Those who overlook the overbearing impact of Blue Monday may risk losing staff and candidates.