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How can you retain staff in the new year when Employees may be considering a career move

Kate Allen, Managing Director, Allen Associates

T’was the day before Christmas break and all through the workplace, top talent cleaned desks for their upcoming job-change. What lead them to this and what can you do? With the holidays around the corner, it’s hard to keep your staff engaged when their thoughts are fixed on gifts and upcoming festive activities rather than goals and targets. As the year draws to a close, many Employees will be using this time to take stock, assess the situation and decide their next move.

If you have succeeded in keeping the spark alive through progression, recognition and reward, the start of the festive season shouldn’t trigger a stampede towards the exit. However, if ongoing issues have persisted within the last year and certain promises have not been delivered, you can guarantee that at least a few Employees will be considering making a change in the New Year. If you’ve spotted a few red flags, ‘tis the season to tackle them head on.

Give them a reason to stay

Losing Employees in the festive season is the real nightmare before Christmas: after all, the last thing you need is to start the New Year with a skills gap. If you’re going to keep your valued Employees, you must work as you would in a recruitment campaign to reignite their passion and remind them of why they took the job. What strategic objectives does the business have in place for 2019, and how will they benefit your staff? Will there be room for promotion or more training opportunities? Providing your Employees with evidence of what they can expect in the coming year can provide the reassurance they need to stay put.

Show your commitment to change

While Employees take advantage of the New Year to set their goals and assess their situation, you should be eager to identify any potential issues that could cause your staff to consider their options. Perhaps your Employees have expressed a need for more flexibility, more autonomy and more responsibility. Perhaps there are issues with the organisational culture such as a lack of diversity that is holding your business back from reaching its true potential. Whatever it may be, showing an active commitment to making a change in the business is crucial if you are to keep spirits high in the workforce.

Celebrate individual achievements

In a recent workplace survey from Perkbox, the company found 64% of organisations didn’t use end-of-year incentives and only 36% of respondents offered bonuses, commission structures, or prizes for Employees who achieved objectives throughout the year. Organisations who opt for this approach risk triggering a slump in Employee engagement – instead, leaders should remind individual Employees how their input has contributed to wider business goals to inspire a sense of accomplishment. Leave your staff with a positive impression and a sense of achievement before you break up for Christmas and you can expect them to return in the New Year feeling refreshed and ready.

Embrace the festive season

It may be dubbed the most wonderful time of the year, but for the majority of businesses, it’s also one of the most challenging. As Employees come and go through a revolving door of annual leave and the pressure mounts to hit targets, it’s easy to put festivities on the backburner. If you want your people to stay positive and motivated as the days count down for Christmas, tap into the feeling of excitement that the season generates to boost staff morale. Ugly jumper competitions, office Christmas parties and desk decorating may not seem like much, but these little actions can go a long way in keeping your staff merry rather than miserable during the holiday season.

Over the last 20 years, we have grown as a business to become one of the leading independent Recruitment agencies in Oxfordshire, and in 2018 have opened our first London office, to service Clients in the capital.

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