Preventing staff thinking about moving on as the New Year takes hold

Read our business advice on retaining staff after the new year.A new year can spell a new start for many, and whilst it’s an excellent opportunity to take stock of the business and think about the opportunities the year ahead may hold, business owners must be mindful of the fact their staff may also be thinking about a new start.

Sometimes employees can think the grass is greener on the other side of the fence and a new year can give them food for thought. According to a survey conducted by the Institute of Leadership & Management, 32 per cent of UK employees want to change jobs in 2016, and last year, a staggering 34 per cent quit their job without having another one lined up to go to!

Topping the list of reasons for leaving their job was lack of progression opportunities – which came before pay or even job enjoyment. With a skills shortage affecting many sectors, this is an important factor to bear in mind, as losing key members of staff can be costly to the business in terms of the disruption caused and cost of recruiting and training new members of staff. Skilled staff are in short supply in a range of industries so retention must be top of mind for business owners.

Working on development programmes that are tailored to the aspirations of individuals is the best way to aid progression and get the best out of each and every member of staff.

A work/life balance is still a really important factor for many people. Taking simple measures such as providing a nice place for staff to take their lunch break away from their desk and computer screen, and maybe read a book or socialise, can work well. Additionally, flexible working can also be a real incentive for staff.

Appreciation was also a key factor. Staff want to know their employer appreciates what they do within the business and that they are valued. The personal development plan is a good way to achieve this, as employees that feel their employer cares about their development enough to create a plan around their progression. There are other good tactics to employ here, such as providing rewards for various achievements, and also simply communicating gratitude, which seems like such a small token but can mean so much to employees to know their efforts are being recognised.

A skilled and talented workforce is clearly the kingpin of any business and owners must remember not to become complacent in keeping its valued employees happy and fulfilled. The cost of not doing so can be far-reaching.