human resources

Monday Morning Blues… or our new way of living?

Laura Rennie

Is there a full moon or something in the water?
Is anyone else feeling that it’s all a little chaotic and strange?
I was talking to a business owner the other day, who asked me the above questions. He told me his staff seemed to be less engaged, more frustrated and generally a bit more stressed. There didn’t appear to be any reason for this change.
For us at Arena, we’ve had five Mondays in a row that have seen us deal with extremely complex and random situations. We are now dealing with situations that we have never been involved in or even heard of before, in over 25 years.
Personally, I think people are trying to figure out what the post-Covid world looks like. Social media seems to be filled with ‘perfect’ lives or stories that shock the reader into an anxiety-fuelled existence. What you need to wear, what you need to look like… Or, you’re told to be yourself, but be better and be happy, and be kind. What is going on? There are so many confusing pieces of advice out there!
We all know that life is precious. In fact, we know that more now than we ever did before, especially during these last few years. So if you are reading this and are feeling that you’re a bit out of sorts, or you have seen a change in your staff behaviour, take a moment.
Take longer than a moment.
Go for a walk in nature.
Set the timer for 20 minutes and walk outside.
Gift yourself some time to figure out what you want to do with your life.
Are you happy running about feeling chaotic? Is there something going on within the workplace that is affecting staff or is it down to this general change in the global environment? Ensure your staff have space and a place to speak freely. This can be with a senior manager or someone external to your teams. There are plenty of charities available to provide this support too.
If you want to believe in something more and think it could be the moon, you could be on to something. It’s worth noting that there’s a full moon on 27th November and 27th December 2023. According to folklore, the three days prior to a full moon can impact on human energies and emotions. I will certainly be leaning into being more open to opportunities around these times.
If you are wanting to help your team, then give them that opportunity for space and communicate effectively with them. These are my top five tips to manage expectations and communicate better:

  1. Consider the best method to communicate – picking up the phone is a better idea most of the time!
  2. Engage your audience by keeping the information relevant – don’t CC everyone in just in case.
  3. Don’t use more words than you need when trying to get your message across – keep the message simple.
  4. Ensure you ask for feedback in a clear manner.
  5. Use face-to-face discussions when you can – read non-verbal body language, this will help far more than trying to read tone in a written message.
    Wishing you all the best for the festive season. And remember, keep #doingHRright.

Laura Rennie is the founder of Arena HR, the go-to place for legally commercial HR Strategies. Laura’s attitude for “doingHRright” led her to set up Arena in 2016. Arena is seen as a highly respected Consultancy and Training Academy getting results by enhancing and supporting positive working relationships.