Are your employees staying with you in the New Year?

Regardless of your opinion of when Christmas carols should start playing in shopping centres, there’s no denying that the months of November to January have an air of festivity about them. Despite the merriment and relaxation, the festive season is not always so rosy and it’s often a time when employers are more likely to lose some of their employees.

Of course, the holidays are exciting for many reason: time off, summer, celebrating, great food and spending much needed time catching up with family and friends - it’s a great time to wind down and gear up for the year ahead. It’s also a time for reflecting on the year gone by and looking back on your achievements. It’s this reflection where plenty of people start to feel the disappointment. According to Strava, January 12th is the day when the motivation from setting our New Year’s resolutions starts to wane - that’s not even two weeks into the New Year and it can be quite disheartening to look back on.

Employees can look back and be frustrated that they haven’t achieved what they wanted to - in both their personal and professional lives - or they might even find that they have achieved what they wanted, but they aren’t being recognised for their hard work; perhaps there was no Christmas bonus this year or they simply aren’t getting the verbal encouragement they need.

The ugly truth is that for many employees, the grass can start to look a lot greener on the other side. According to Gallup, 51% of the U.S workforce are actively looking for a new job or watching for openings - it’s a worrying statistic and one that is only aggravated by employees looking at their working lives and finding themselves dissatisfied. If they weren’t actively looking for greener pastures before, they certainly are over the festive season - in fact, Monster.com cites the first Wednesday after the New Year begins as the day when they receive the highest volume of job searches all year; 70% higher than the average.

The New Year is a chance for new ventures

It makes sense, too. After all, the beginning of a new year is a chance to turn over a new leaf, it seems like the best time to start a new role. Many employers review annually too, rounding to the nearest calendar year - so the end of the year seems like a natural time to step away from an organisation. Starting a new job can go hand-in-hand with the new goals many set for themselves too; a big holiday, a new car, a house - they all require more money and studies from Glassdoor show that most people who leave their job do so for bigger paychecks and they often get them wherever they land.

However, pay is not everything - it’s a good thing too! Paying all your employees more in the hope that they stay is not only very expensive, it may not actually work. Glassdoor also found that workers who were stagnant in their jobs were far more likely to leave. When there’s no opportunities, no new challenges and no way for them to improve themselves, employees simply look elsewhere - especially when they reflect on what they’ve really achieved in the year gone by.

Is there any hope for restless employees?

It’s not all doom and gloom - it’s natural for some employees to move on but, if you’re noticing a high volume of your employees leaving, it might be time to consider what you’re really offering them. Annual reviews are a great chance to talk over the opportunities coming up for employees, what skills they would like to develop and their own goals for their professional lives. Often, employees need the support of their employers to move forward and annual reviews are a great opportunity to make sure you are in the best position possible to support your team.

The festive season is a chance to take some time out and relax but it’s important to remember that engaging your employees should still be at the top of your list. Make sure your employees are excited to come back in the New Year!

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Greg Weiss is one of Australia’s most renowned career coaches. He is the author of “So You Got A Job, WTF Is Next”. The book prescribes a proven, practical 7 step guideline for new employees so they succeed, rather than fail their probation periods and beyond. Find out more about the book at https://www.wtfisnext.wtf/

He is the Founder and Director of Onboff an online training and coaching platform that helps HR specialists, coaches and recruiters to deliver exceptional onboarding and offboarding experiences for employees.

Greg also hosts The Keep: The Employee Experience podcast and runs CareerSupport365.