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January is a tough month for many; the combination of dreary weather, failing New Year’s resolutions, the post-Christmas diet and the financial worries of trying to stretch that early December paycheck to the end of January – there’s no shortage of reasons why people might feel down and lack motivation this month.

It’s no surprise then that January is also the UK’s peak time for sickness absence and stress in the workplace, meaning that staff morale and general productivity will be at an all-time low.

Whilst there is no simple answer or a one-size fits all solution to help your staff beat the blues this January, employers can consider small actions to help improve staff wellbeing and positivity which can benefit both employees and businesses alike.

Focus on employee engagement

Communication and involvement are key to making employees feel like they are an important part of the organisation. If they don’t understand what the business is trying to achieve this year or they don’t feel valued themselves, why would they feel motivated or inspired to work hard all year round?

Take time to discuss personal and professional plans for the year and help to set some achievable goals to help drive motivation.

Recognise the successes of the previous year

Recognising the successes of 2022 is a great way to keep your employees motivated throughout January.

More frequent employee feedback and praise as and when appropriate can also help people feel appreciated and valued. If a staff member does a good job, tell them, if they are always performing at a consistently high level, acknowledge this to ensure they know that their efforts are not overlooked but are seen and appreciated.

Practice sensitivity

We are all individuals and what works for one person may not work for another. The reasons why a person may be feeling down, disengaged or fed up will also differ. Some may have more deep-rooted reasons behind their behaviour and/or feelings.

Try and spot signs that someone is unhappy and talk to them about it. Ask if there is anything that can be done to provide support and assistance. If they don’t want to talk about it, don’t push the point. However, look to revisit the conversation again later to see if there is an opportunity to help. In the meantime, make them aware of any employee assistance programmes you may have in place, where they can discuss issues in confidence.

If you feel that a person has more substantial issues than just feeling a bit fed up because it’s January, signpost them to mental health first aiders or external support and counselling services. Depending on the situation, reasonable adjustments may need to be considered and specific advice should be taken on how best to manage and support these individuals on a case-by-case basis.

Lead by example

Just as negativity within a team can spread, so can positivity.

Even if managers business leaders don’t feel entirely upbeat themselves, if they communicate positive messages to their teams, praise and give positive feedback to individuals, this can help their workforce to feel more positive and that, in turn, may assist leaders in feeling more positive also.

Small gestures reap big rewards

Ask employees what changes can be made to help them through January – for some this may be additional team engagement (especially if staff are working remotely), for others it may be biscuits or healthy snacks in the break room, or a care package to remote workers.

The changes need not necessarily be high financial value, but they could result in large gains in productivity, employee engagement and a better, more positive working environment for all.

Encourage a healthy lifestyle and regular exercise

During the dark winter months, it’s not always easy to see daylight during the working day which can be detrimental to a person’s health and wellbeing. Encouraging staff take regular breaks away from their desks and getting out in the fresh air at lunchtime to see natural daylight, can prevent energy levels from slumping and help stabilise mood boosting hormones.

Plan for time off

There is no better way to lift the January blues than booking a holiday in a sunnier climate. Employers should ensure that holiday calendars are up and running and employees are clear of their remaining holiday entitlements for the year ahead and whether carrying over of untaken holiday from the previous year is permitted under your policy.  A simple reminder of your holiday request procedure, together with any restrictions on taking holidays during peak times such as the school holiday period, should help prompt staff in the midst of winter to look forward to better and more warmer things to come.

Whilst the above measures can minimise the prospect of employees feeling the January Blues at work, it is important to recognise that mental health is an issue that employers should be supporting all year round. The HSE recently revealed that 30.8 million working days were lost to work related ill health in 2021/22, showing that stress, depression and anxiety is far from being confined to January.

Anyone can experience mental health difficulties at any stage of their life. Historically mental health has been something that many people don’t feel able to openly acknowledge or discuss, which means problems all too often don’t get resolved and only escalate.

Our wellbeing training courses aim to change that by giving staff a practical understanding of mental health, anxiety and depression and stress awareness. Equally as importantly, though, they provide them with guidance on how they can help colleagues with their wellbeing and create an inclusive and supportive workplace culture.

Courses include:


To view our full range of wellbeing courses, click here.

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With the pandemic continuing and Covid-19 cases still on the rise with the latest variant, it may seem that January blues are underway. However, organisations must avoid letting this get employees down and instead use January as an opportunity to kick start and make way for a year of prioritising good mental health and wellbeing.

Here are five ways organisations can provide support to employees:

1 – Effective Management

Strong leadership skills and good line management is essential in supporting employee wellbeing. Don’t drop short deadlines on colleagues. Instead, work with them to solve problems so employees don’t feel completely stressed out but remain in control. While it’s clear the country is facing a significant skills shortage and employees across industries are making moves due to The Great Resignation, it’s vital organisations keep up with recruitment. Keep internal processes moving quickly, so teams aren’t severely understaffed and overstretched, putting additional pressure on employees. This process will help to mitigate stress and burnout.

2 – Build awareness for self-awareness

One of the prime issues leaders face is not recognising when an employee is struggling with mental health. Educating employees to spot tell-tale signs in their colleagues, but also when they need the help themselves, encourages them to communicate these worries with their manager or a colleague. Make it clear that it’s OK not to be OK. Organisations must build an openculture in the workplace where employees feel comfortable to voice their concerns to management and have an open-door policy. This allows employees to talk to someone not just about their work – but also their wellbeing.

3 – Provide support mechanisms

Creating a solid network of support mechanisms is critical to building a wellbeing culture in the organisation. Employees should have access to the support they need internally or externally to improve their mental health. This not only includes being able to speak to managers, HR or colleagues but also access to mental health apps or possibly private healthcare. This will enable employees to speak to professionals and get the appropriate support or guidance they require when they need it most.

4 – Promote wellbeing training

Training business leaders and employees on how to look after their own and their colleagues’ mental health, spotting the signs of stress, and learning how to manage stress are fundamental to improving overall wellbeing. Line managers can only help improve their employees’ mental health if they recognise the red flags. Having good wellbeing isn’t just confined to mental health – it also involves having an overall healthy lifestyle, including exercise, sleep and diet – and avoiding harmful substances such as alcohol, drugs and cigarettes. Educating employees on the importance of going to sleep at a good time and not staying up until 2 am binging Netflix shows – is also critical to supporting their health and wellbeing ready for their work the next day.

5 – Foster a wellbeing culture

Building an organisational culture around wellbeing is vital to ensuring staff feel supported and recognise that they can reach out to someone in their team if they are struggling. Building a wellbeing charter, where employees understand that they can work flexibly, have support to deal with stress, get professional help, or just a helpful ear can make a world of difference. Whilst it’s not easy for anyone to admit they need extra help, fostering a culture where managers and colleagues regularly check in on each other will make employees feel more comfortable to voice their concerns.

To find out more about improving mental health and wellbeing training in your organisation, try a free demo of our wellbeing collection of courses.

DeltaNet International has revealed that there has been a significant jump in users taking courses in managing stress since the start of the pandemic. Following almost two years of a global pandemic, DeltaNet has analysed its learners to understand how organisations have prioritised stress management in the workplace.

Recent reports by Randstad UK highlighted that 69% of employees feel confident about moving to a new role in the next few months, with staff burnout being one of the predominant factors. According to DeltaNet’s analysis, it found a 33.4% increase in its ‘Managing Your Personal Stress‘ training course in 2021 compared to 2020, and a 40.4% increase in its ‘Managing Stress in Your Team‘ training course in 2021 compared to 2020.

“It’s great to see that organisations are increasingly supporting their employees with stress management training; however, support does not just stop there. Understanding and knowing how to spot the signs of stress is just the first step. Providing additional support with one-on-one discussions, encouraging staff to take a walk every day and teaching employees to take up mindfulness activities such as Yoga is important,” highlights Darren Hockley, Managing Director at DeltaNet International.

“Unhealthy stress leads to employee burnout, which is bad news. Organisations need to understand the reasons why employees feel stressed. Is it due to the workload? Is it due to the team being understaffed? Is it due to time management or deadline issues? Or is it simply due to the ongoing effects of the pandemic and personal worries?

“Business leaders must make it their priority to support their staff through these issues. Employees who don’t receive any support will soon feel that their organisation and line managers don’t care enough about them. Remember to treat employees as people – they are not just another number. Everyone has feelings, and the minute staff feel they are being overlooked or unsupported, especially with stress and mental health, is the quicker they will look for that support elsewhere.”

*Data analysed is for the Stress Management courses between Jan – Dec 2020 and Jan – October 2021.

According to the NHS, adults should do one type of physical activity every day. Adults should aim to do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise a week or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity a week. Adults should also spread exercise evenly over 4-5 days a week or every day, reduce time spent sitting or lying down, and break up long periods of not moving with some activity.

Spending prolonged periods sitting down during the day isn’t good for your health, yet, with many of us having desk-based roles, 7-8 hours a day disappear sitting just at work. Unfortunately, with the average person spending 12 hours a day sitting down, physical inactivity is the fourth leading risk factor for global mortality. So, exercising moderately to vigorously during the week is critical to combat ‘sitting disease’.

Exercise can be a love-hate relationship for many people. Even though it can be hard to motivate yourself to go for a walk or run (especially when it’s cold and raining), regular physical activity does reduce your risk of various health conditions such as obesity, heart disease, depression, and dementia.

Since the start of the pandemic, lots of people have been working remotely, reducing their chances of exercising on the commute to work, e.g., walking, cycling. So, it’s necessary to consider how much exercise you actually do during the day.

A great way to monitor your activity is by using a wearable fitness tracker. Wearable fitness trackers not only count your steps but can measure heart rate and track if you’re doing a vigorous workout such as running.

Benefits of exercising

One of the advantages of exercising is that it boosts our ability to fight infections. Through working out, we encourage blood to circulate our body, which improves oxygen intake.

Being regularly physically active can help your general physical health. It:

  • Supports stronger bones, muscles and joints
  • Manages weight better
  • Lowers blood cholesterol levels
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Reduces risk of a heart attack
  • Lowers the risk of type 2 diabetes and some cancers
  • Feels better, with more energy and healthier sleep

Exercise can help improve mental health:

  • It increases hormones linked to happiness, such as endorphins and serotonin.
  • Even low-intensity exercise can significantly reduce the symptoms of depression by boosting the production of a hormone called norepinephrine.

Types of exercise

Taking part in daily exercise is vital for a healthy lifestyle and choosing a physical activity that raises your heart rate is ideal. However, it’s important to remember that whichever type of exercise you do is good for you. It doesn’t matter if you can’t run, but if you prefer to do Yoga or Pilates because you enjoy it, then do it. The important thing is you do what works for you. Exercise is not a one size fits all. Small amounts of exercise each day, even if that’s a leisurely walk, can be a great place to start to improve your physical and mental health.

With moderate exercise, most people need between 150 and 300 minutes of it per week. This includes:

  • Brisk walking until you can’t talk without being out of breath
  • Cycling at a leisurely pace
  • Dancing until you sweat
  • Hiking
  • Swimming at a leisurely pace

With vigorous exercise, you should generally aim for between 75 and 150 minutes of it per week. This includes:

  • Running
  • Martial arts
  • Aerobics
  • Skipping with a rope
  • Swimming at a fast pace

When it comes to reaching your weekly targets for fitness, remember that the more vigorous the activity you do, the less time you will need to spend doing it each week. If you try fast-paced sports with friends such as football or netball, you will notice your speed slowly start to improve as your fitness gets better. However, doing a mix of both moderate and vigorous activities during the week is an easier way to ensure you hit your exercise targets, meaning you’re less likely to burn out.

Start exercising

Before you start thinking about what exercise routine you’d like to do during the week, ensure you check any health conditions you have with your doctor to ensure you don’t take part in anything you shouldn’t be doing, e.g., further damaging your back.

Make a list of activities you’d like to participate in and figure out if they are moderate or vigorous activities, so you can get a rough understanding of how long you’d need to spend doing each activity each week to hit your weekly target. If you’re considering doing brisk walking, as it’s a moderate activity, you will need to do a minimum of 150 mins a week. So, if you spread this out across five days, that’s simply 30 mins a day. The next step is then to find a time that works for you to fit in your exercise. 30 mins of brisk walking a day could be done before work, during your lunch break, or even after your evening dinner.

Time poor

One of the biggest challenges many people face is finding the time and effort to fit exercise into their daily routine. However, when you know the benefits of exercising, treating it as a priority becomes invaluable. If you’re able to, perhaps try a vigorous activity as you only need to do a minimum of 75 mins to hit your weekly target. Doing two x 40 mins vigorous workout such as running, or aerobics is all you need.

Who says exercising is expensive?

Not everyone can afford to pay for a gym membership, especially when you struggle to find the time during the week to go. Throughout the lockdown, people across the country found innovative ways to exercise at home. You can go for a walk, run, watch a YouTube video or join online classes for aerobics, Zumba or yoga.

Exercise with a friend

When people quit exercising, lacking the motivation to do it or finding the activity boring tend to be the reason. Well, try exercising with a friend or family member, or doing a group sport such as football where your presence is required. Working out with somebody else makes the activity more enjoyable, and you can also encourage each other to do it.

If you’re interested in improving your healthy lifestyle through exercise, then look at our latest course as well as the rest of our wellbeing collection to improve how you and your employees feel.

Work-related stress can lead to many health problems. It is one of the leading causes of absence from work and long-term sick leave for employees. When our stress is allowed to continue unchecked, it can lead to depression and anxiety, which can have devastating effects. According to HSE’s Labour Force Survey, 17.9 million working days were lost due to work-related stress, depression, or anxiety in 2019/2020, this equated to an average of 21.6 days lost per person suffering.

Controlling work-related stress is a shared responsibility between employers and employees themselves. It can help employees cope if they know how to recognise the signs of stress in themselves and the steps they can take to control it.

What is stress?

HSE defines stress as ‘the adverse reaction people have to excessive pressures or other types of demand placed on them’. Employees feel stress when they can’t cope with pressures and other issues.

Symptoms of stress

Everyone experiences stress differently, but when it starts to affect your health and wellbeing, you must learn how to manage it.

  • Feelings of constant worry or anxiety
  • Feelings of being overwhelmed
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Mood swings or changes in your mood
  • Irritability or having a short temper
  • Difficulty relaxing
  • Depression
  • Low self-esteem
  • Eating more or less than usual
  • Changes in your sleeping habits
  • Using alcohol, tobacco or illegal drugs to relax
  • Aches and pains, particularly muscle tension
  • Diarrhoea and constipation
  • Feelings of nausea or dizziness
  • Loss of sex drive

Here are some ways you can manage personal stress:

1 – Understand the root cause of stress

Stop and think about the real reason why you feel stressed. Do you have little time to complete a project ahead of a deadline? Was this passed onto you with little to short notice? Then there are two issues here: one is time management – feeling stressed because you know it might be difficult to complete the task within the deadline, and the second is communication – being given a task to complete within an unrealistic timeframe and at short notice with no prior heads-up.

2 – Reduce unnecessary stress

  • Learn to say no

We often want to be ‘yes’ people both professionally and personally because it’s human nature to want to be liked or help one another. But you can only bite off as much as you can chew. Understand how much time a task will take and whether the workload is feasible. If not, simply say you won’t be able to do it within that given timeframe and ask for an extension or find out if somebody else on the team has the availability to do it instead.

  • Review your to-do list

If you have too much on, work with your line manager to review your to-do list. Analyse your deadlines and how long each task will take and prioritise them in order of urgency.

  • Learn to control the situation

Figure out if you can reduce the stress in a particular situation. For example, if you constantly get stuck in traffic and worry about getting to work on time, then work backwards. Wake up earlier to make sure you leave the house earlier, allowing time for any traffic on the journey and still making it to work on time.

3 – Develop your coping strategies

  • Exercise

Regularly exercising, even just going for a walk, is a great way to relax your body and take your mind off things. Allowing oxygen to flow into your body will help improve your mood.

  • Relax your muscles

When you’re stressed, it’s normal for muscles to tense up, leading to aches and pains. Consider loosening up the muscles by doing yoga (stretching muscles), having a massage, or even relaxing in a hot bath.

  • Deep breathing exercises

When you suffer from stress or even anxiety attacks, deep breathing exercises work well to help reduce the tension and improve the mood. Try playing mindfulness music in the background and learn to take slow deep breaths in and out.

  • Eat healthier

Eating a well-balanced diet should be a staple requirement in our daily lives. Although we may enjoy indulging in fast food, as long as it’s not a regular occurrence, then it should be fine. Your meals should consist of a good variety of fruit and vegetables since eating better can help reduce stress. Your body will also feel better in itself; more alert and full of energy.

  • Take a break

Your body can only go so fast before it crashes. Schedule some regular breaks for your body to rest and be still. This can involve going for a slow walk in nature, reading a book in the park, or even doing yoga.

  • Make some time to do an activity

It’s important to schedule some ‘you’ time and take part in activities you enjoy to relieve stress. Try playing a team sport such as football or tennis, or release stress through a martial art such as kickboxing. It could even be a solo activity such as solving puzzles such as sudoku or doing some painting.

  • Talk to someone about your worries

One of the most important ways to manage and reduce your stress is by talking to someone. Often, by bottling in problems, they seem worse than they are, but talking to someone allows us to voice those concerns. Speak with someone you feel comfortable with, whether it’s a manager, a colleague, family, friends or seek professional help with a therapist.

While these are some ways to manage your stress, check out our course on Stress Management for Individuals and our Managing Personal Stress Challenge to help guide the way. Remember to remain positive, talk to someone and get professional help from a doctor if stress is causing constant issues and worries. Have a look at the rest of the courses offered in our wellbeing collection for other courses.

Business culture is changing.

Workplace culture has always been thought of as the true reflection of a business and its people. Historically it has been left to its own devices, to develop organically.

The world is becoming more conscious. Employees want to know more about the company they work for and are demanding more from their working environment, and consumers now care more about the morals and actions of the companies they buy from. It is too risky to long term success to leave business culture to shape itself.

What shapes business culture today?

Business culture is intangible. Its very existence derives from the culmination of traits of the people the business employs. It has historically been placed into the following three categories – Beliefs and Behaviours, Satisfaction and Engagement.

However today, there are only two components that shape how a business’s culture develops.

  1. Beliefs and Behaviours – how a company handles external transactions.
  2. Wellbeing – how a business engages with their employees, aims to satisfy their requirements, and how they look after them.

What does a culture of wellbeing actually look like?

Contrary to popular belief, a culture of wellbeing is not just employee perk packages, away days, and 6 monthly pay reviews. While these things certainly contribute to increased wellbeing, a business needs to invest in their wellbeing infrastructure.


The term ‘wellbeing infrastructure’ refers to a business investing in long term structures that create a humanistic environment. For example, a manufacturing company investing in the health and safety of their employees. Meaning they feel less at risk, less stressed about coming to work, and therefore feel happier and in theory are more productive.

Another example may be a call centre implementing a walking meetings policy. Where employees have the option to take their meetings as a walking-meeting outside the office to increase physical activity levels and combat the affects of their sedentary working environment. A wellbeing infrastructure is seen and experienced by all employees daily. Impacting their health, happiness, and productivity. Organisations that only invest in perks, such as money off vouchers, tickets to events and so on, can feel as though the company’s wellbeing policy doesn’t extend past the writing on their contract. This can leave employees feeling disengaged and can cause the companies culture to suffer.

A culture of wellbeing – does it really matter?

Having high-levels of staff wellbeing means that employees are happier, that they have a better work-life balance, and they are generally healthier. It would be nice to believe that every business would invest in the wellbeing of their workforce because of these reasons! However, the vast majority are more concerned with the financial implications of investing in wellbeing measures, e.g.,does it create a return on investment?

The short answer is yes. It does indeed create a return on investment. In fact, there are numerous benefits to the business of having healthy and happy employees …

Attracting the right talent to an organisation

A business is only as good as its employees. The CIPD state that company culture is one of the top considerations for candidates when looking for a new job. If an organisation’swellbeing infrastructure is robust enough and deeply engrained , it is more likely to attract a higher calibre of candidate. After all, high-quality candidates will have more market-value and this includes the ability to choose an employer that benefits them as much as they benefit the business.

Less turnover

An engaged and supported employee who is enjoying their work is much less likely to look for another job. Lower labour turnover means less client disruption, less internal disruption, and no negative press associated with high numbers of staff leaving the business; it also means lower recruitment and training costs. All these factors can be shown as a financial return on investment and can save business expenditure.

Increased productivity

Increased wellbeing at work does more than just make your employees happy. By promoting healthy lifestyles as part of a company’s wellbeing infrastructure it makes them more productive, too. Businesses that promote health and wellbeing regularly have been proven to out perform those that don’t (6Q), which in turn increases profitability and is proven indicator that the return on investment for wellbeing infrastructure can be very profitable.

How do you improve wellbeing, and business culture in your workplace?

We know that a good business culture that embraces wellbeing can be profitable, but how can business leaders instigate change and improve wellbeing within the workforce? The nature of wellbeing is that the needs and circumstances of everyone in the business is different, so it is not good enough to let wellbeing develop organically. It has to be managed.

Step 1 – Invest in your businesses knowledge infrastructure

In order to achieve good wellbeing the workforce needs to be given knowledge about their part to play in creating this positive business culture. Our Wellbeing eLearning Collection covers all the areas that a business needs to positively change organisational culture. It provides understanding on how employees can live a healthier lifestyle, how to support mental health, how to recognise signs of alcohol or drug addiction, and how to prevent illness spreading within an organisation, plus much more.


A business cannot create an atmosphere of understanding and support around wellbeing without the whole workforce being educated on best practice. You can see a full list of our Wellbeing courses here.

Step 2 – Communicate with employees about business performance

Transparency is key to trust in any relationship, and the working relationship between employer and employee is no different. Ensure all employees are kept up to date with performance. Let them know when the business is doing well, or when it’s not doing so well.

This helps employees feel ‘seen’. It makes them feel like they are part of the business and allows them to see the fruits of their labour. They are more likely to be motivated to stay and work harder to help the business in tough times should there a history of transparency.

Step 3 – Listen to your employees

Sometimes people just need to be heard, and this is the case in the workplace too. It is so important to give employees a route to communicate easily with their employer. Not only does it make them feel valid and boosts mental wellbeing, it can also help uncover better ways of working, further improving business performance.

Step 4 – Invest in business infrastructure

Providing a safe, secure and well-equipped workspace makes employees feel valued, secure and safe while at work. If they have the equipment, or the working environment that empowers them to do their job to the best of their ability then they will feel happy at work, and be more productive.

Step 5 – Go beyond your workforce

At first this may seem counter intuitive, but as an employer it is important to understand that your employees care about more than just work. Employees value seeing their employer lead by example and engage with the local community and doing charitable work. This helps to develop business culture, and makes employees feel like part of something bigger.

DeltaNet wellbeing eLearning collection

Here are DeltaNet we have been hard at work developing our Wellbeing Collection. Designed to provide businesses with an all-in-one eLearning package to help drive positive physical and mental wellbeing changes in their business. We have worked alongside subject matter experts in mental health and wellbeing to ensure that the contents of the courses provide expert information.

To discover more about the Wellbeing Collection or to book free course demos click here.