New year, new me: how to manage post-festive staff turnover

It’s the dawning of a new year, and your offices are looking a bit more empty than usual. Perhaps a number of your staff is still away for the holidays. Or, maybe you’ve simply fallen victim to post-festive staff turnover. 

For many organizations, the end of the holiday season marks the beginning of a new and productive year. But while business may be refreshed and ready to boom, your employees are still reeling from the holiday exhaustion. Your staff has more than likely been suffering from the “holiday blues.” This means instead of refreshed and ready-to-go employees, you’re left with employees that are exhausted, stressed and relieved the season is over. 

Now, it’s well known that stress can impact an organization’s bottom line. Productivity is lowered, lack of engagement becomes prevalent. The retention of your employees depends largely on their health and overall happiness.

According to a 2015 Healthline survey, 44% of people say that they are stressed during the holidays, with more than 18% reporting that they’re “very stressed.” With the holidays over, all that stress will be traveling along with your staff into the new year. Q1 is in full effect, and the transition alone can be a trigger for high staff turnover rates.

So, what can you do to preserve employee retention after the holiday season?

4 ways to manage post-festive staff turnover

It’s no surprise that holding on to unhappy employees can prove to be 10x more difficult than holding on to happy ones. With the holidays are over, employees no longer have the prospect of time off as a barrier between them and stress. Getting that fire burning within your staff will be a harder task than ever. Keeping that in mind, here are three of the best ways to manage your post-festive staff turnover.

Encourage employee-employer dialogue

We’ve all heard the old saying: people don’t leave companies, they leave managers. This does not necessarily mean that your managers are doing things to actively drive away your staff. Instead, it could mean they aren’t doing enough to keep them.

Managers are an organizations bridge to their employees. They are responsible for guiding, handling and supervising their teams. However, when the needs of their employees slip past their radar, it often opens un feelings of dissatisfaction and unappreciation. 

employee-employer dialogue in the office

Nearly 80 percent of workers will look for another job if they don’t feel like they’re valued where they are. Listening to your staff plays a vital role in counteracting this possibility. 

Incorporate more employee-employer dialogue into your new year plans. Make sure that your managers understand the impact the holiday season can have on the stress and productivity levels of your staff. Support from supervisors and collogues have a strong correlation to overall job satisfaction. Yet, according to Mental Health America,  Only 36 percent of respondents felt they could rely on their supervisors for support.

To change this trend of disregard and high staff turnover, managers must understand and be aware of the mental states of their teams. Part of that awareness if listening to staff, watching for signs of stress, lowered productivity and signs of lowered morale. An employee who feels supported and heard will be staying on your team for years to come.

Set an end of year goal

While everyone is focused on creating their list of new year resolutions, you should be crafting a goal or two of your own. 

By the end of next year, where do you want your business to be? Now, how can you and your employees get to that goal together? Crafting your goal is only worthwhile if it is one that all your employees can gladly contribute too. 

set some end of year goals to reduce staff turnover
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Without an overall goal to work toward, employees feel aimless, valueless and ultimately begin to question their roles in the organization. All these feelings can lead to them searching for a new opportunity in the new year. Show your staff that they have a solid position in your long term goals. 

It is important to involve employees from start-to-finish, especially considering 78% of employees are not convinced their leaders have a clear direction for the organization. Lack of communication and direction can be what increases staff turnover if you let it.

Be certain to tie your company goal directly to your employee’s individual goals and set clear expectations. Doing so will give staff the chance to own their goals and push them to their best performance. 

Develop your staff’s short and long term goals increased the likelihood that they will stick around to achieve them.

Throw in some new year incentives

Just because the holiday season is over doesn’t mean your employees won’t enjoy a little gift from their employer. As a matter of fact, research by Instantprint shows that 94% of people surveyed said that receiving a gift from their employer made them feel appreciated, happy and valued. What better way to reward them for all their hard work and start the new year off right. 

Gift giving does not need to be an extravagant or difficult process. When it comes to incentivizing your staff, providing them with things that will motivate and inspire them will yield even better results than a Starbucks gift card. 

offer employees perks to increase retention
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Listen to their needs. Find out what they were missing out on last year and bring them a solution. Maybe they wanted a greater look into workplace fitness. Create a fitness program that your staff can get involved in. Offer discounts at nearby gyms, or even start your own fitness challenge that everyone can track on a shared app. Benefits and perks can be a great prize to employees who have worked hard all year round. 

Looking for some other methods? Try something like after hour company events, a pass for early dismissals or a gift voucher to some popular spots. Any of these perks can increase retention by showing staff they are valued and appreciated. 

New year, same staff

Ultimately your goal for the new year is to successfully transition your employees out holiday mode and into their futures at your organization. While this can be a stressful time for all involved, the tips above can provide some relief and help increase your retention rates.