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Monday blues or lack of belonging?

With unemployment at its lowest figure since 1974 and more job vacancies than people for the first time in history, businesses need, now more than ever, to be making sure their teams are happy at work and feel connected to the business. 
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With unemployment at its lowest figure since 1974 and more job vacancies than people for the first time in history, businesses need, now more than ever, to be making sure their teams are happy at work and feel connected to the business. 
And whilst some weeks may be more daunting than others, many research studies show a high majority of employees feel the Monday morning dread. This is a trend People Teams need to take action in discontinuing in order to maximise and retain their employees.

How can businesses create a happy Monday? Here’s what I’ve found works for my team.
  1. Ensure less intense meetings and tasks take place on a Monday to enable your team to begin the week engaged and at their best.

  2. Set aside time on Fridays to encourage your team to create a to-do list for the week ahead so they know what they have coming up and can flag what they may need support with.

  3. Evaluate your team’s needs. If your people are consumed by an overwhelming Sunday night dread, this could mean their responsibilities need to be reduced or altered. Small changes can make a huge difference.

  4. Encourage life balance on evenings and weekends. Drive the narrative and highlight the importance of self-care and wellness – get your team to share what they’re looking forward to at the weekend, and live by example – try to log off by 6 and do not message/ email your team out of hours. 
  5. Talk to them about how they’re feeling in your 1 to 1’s, when you ask “how are you” genuinely mean it, and listen to the response, this often flags what you can do to support them. 

But above all of this, I believe employees’ sense of belonging to the business is essential in underpinning their happiness and engagement at work. The businesses failing to prioritise and measure this will miss out on maximising their people’s potential and risk losing valuable talent. The extent to which an employee feels valued and that their career can be supported also has a huge impact on their happiness in role, and therefore their retention.

So, how can you build belonging whilst supporting employees’ careers?

The main way to build belonging within an organisation is to encourage social inclusion – bonds between employees are so important for making staff feel like they belong within that community of people. Research also shows that 94% of employees report they would stay longer within an organisation if provided with learning and development opportunities. Plus, 67% of businesses report an increase in their people’s productivity due to mentoring.

As Head of Product at Connectr, I believe in the power of mentoring technology in championing happy people and happy businesses. Leveraging technology in today’s modern workplace not only enables businesses to deliver impact at scale and in the moment of need, but importantly enables them to measure and optimise their employees’ sense of inclusion and belonging. 

We created Connectr’s Belonging Index to achieve just this. As a self-reporting scale, employees complete this at the start of and at various intervals throughout their mentoring programme. This provides tangible data insights into employees’ current sense of belonging and how this can be optimised – resulting in engaged, productive and happy people, and businesses retaining their most critical asset to success. 

Whilst all of us may suffer with the occasional Monday blues, businesses must be proactive in ensuring these blues don’t become resignations. Understanding and measuring employees’ sense of belonging and inclusion are crucial in giving businesses early warning signs to support early interventions which in turn leads to a workforce of happy, retained people and a business with overall commercial success. And through leveraging technology, this can be done at-scale with agile impact delivered for all, setting the business above the rest. 

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