‘Tis the season to be tulip! – some spring tips for cultivating employee happiness


Hands up if you love it when the following fantastic spring-related changes occur:

  • the last frosts of winter melt away, and the first daffodils creep through (apart from on that dual carriageway in Essex, where people doing community service planted bulbs saying “F*!k” along a two-mile stretch of embankment)
  • the first fresh tulips arrive in shops (there are few flowers more beautiful than the classic, deep-coloured, symmetrical buds of joy from our Dutch friends)
  • the clocks go forward, providing us with long, sunny, light days and heart-bending sunsets
  • you no longer need to scrape your windscreen every morning or fill up one of the holes in the front of the car with blue stuff
  • the tax year-end is reached and the financial services industry recovers from the end of year madness once again

I do! (Verbal hands up.)

Here are some ideas for keeping the things that employers should treasure the most – employees, of course – happy and revitalised:

1) Remind them of your company values

I recently saw a feature saying it is time for the big lettered, colourful words on office walls to go, because they are meaningless. That is a bunch of tulips! Paint them big and bold. They are only meaningless if they are not embodied by the behaviour of the exec body downwards, or are simply not at the forefront of employees’ minds. I always look for them when planning a business development meeting and often mention them. To my horror, the recipients often blink hard and stare at me like I’m an alien, having not really considered these words since they joined the company.

2) Do something different

‘Bring your dog to work day’ - I don’t even have a dog, but I love this idea. Research shows that the calming influence of proximity to one’s much-loved canine chum is immeasurable. But why stop there; cats, lizards, budgies, rabbits – bring it on! Why not have fresh flowers? Or desk plants, which are known to add focus and bring calm – don’t stop at pets for a day, bring ongoing life to the office.

3) Body work

As a chap of a certain age, I recently started going to a pilates class to help my back groans. To be honest, I didn’t think I would enjoy it, but I’ve found it to be hugely relaxing, great for my body ‘length’ and excellent for posture and strengthening. Almost every office I have ever visited has space to do 20 or 30 minutes of pilates, or yoga perhaps, in a lunch hour. So why not encourage your staff to do this, or even run a class for them if space permits?

4) Help sort out mad debt

This is different to bad debt. Mad debt is when people have lazily, or unwittingly, fallen into the trap of paying too much monthly interest on store card, credit card and/or payday loan repayments. Workplace supported debt consolidation has exploded recently and our friends at Neyber seem to be the winners in the race for market share, so check them out.

5) A benefits refresh

Many companies now run an annual benefits fair. These used to be the domain of very large employers with flex. I can see no reason why they can’t fit in at companies of any size though, even if it is a relatively small, low-key and short event. We attended one recently that lasted 2 hours in a head office. We ran 15 minute ‘pension statement translation’ sessions, which coincided with the statements arriving in homes the previous week. It was a simple event, but the positive vibe was fantastic.

So spring into action, go daffy (odil) and do something tulip-tacular, terrifically different and totally focussed on your great employees!

James Biggs is head of financial wellbeing at Lorica.

This article was provided by Lorica.


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