The end of the year is drawing to a fast close. It is so easy to get caught up managing allocation of leave, staffing rosters, and many business christmas events. Not to mention securing your work load to a manageable point before you take a much needed break.
In short, it’s super busy. Deadlines build pressure and tension, and your employees can be at breaking point by the time there is a release, and all go off to enjoy the festive season.
The problem is, as managers we can overlook or discount the last impression your team had before they go on a break and have time to wind down and think. As the New Year clicks over the idea is planted to seek a fresh new start. Focus turns to rejuvenating their life, health, relationships and even their career. They may start to reassess their job at this point, and remember back to the pre-Christmas pressure and chaos, in their minds at least, if not in yours. The thought of returning to work is more than they can bear to think. They start to surmise a change of job is what they need.
Here are some tips to help ensure you are not faced with the post-New Year’s resignation rush:
1. One On On Temperature Check.
Make sure you take the time to meet individually with each of your team before they go on leave. This is not a formal performance appraisal or a time to bring up negative issues.
Thank them personally for their efforts. A simple card for them and their family and a unique point on how they personally contribute to the team in an un-work related way. ‘E.g, ‘Thank you for your offers to get coffee for everyone’, or ‘your humorous demeanor in meetings to make them fun’, ‘how you share your knowledge and expertise with newcomers’, etc.
2. Tap Into Motivators
People are motivated by intrinsic (internal) and extrinsic (external) motivators. Have a discussion around what ‘New Years resolutions’ they would like to create around their work life to come charging out of the gates in 2014. What kind of things will keep them motivated. Do they want more responsibility? A new project? Or are they aiming for more salary, or a company award? Learn a new skill? Get a mentor? Being nicer to a co-worker? More work/life balance? Don’t make promises here. Just promise that you will support them in a plan in getting where they want to be.
3. Set clear (and invigorating) goals.
Once you have identified what is going to motivate them, set a few goals to support them getting the right start for the year. It could be a big, hairy, audacious goal (BHAG), or a really simple, small goal. The key is to get them thinking forward and charged up for the new year.
To make it fun (and memorable) write down their ‘new year work resolution’ ideas and goals and post them a motivational card (www.cafepress.com.au) to arrive early January, with the list in it.
Keep the meeting short, but focused on the aim of planting the seed that they can have their best year ever in 2014 and you are backing them 100%
So side step the drama and frazzle this year, and replace it with gratitude and inspiration to keep your employees engaged over the holiday season. A little thought and effort will engage your employees, and avoid the new year turn over effect.
Anne-Marie is a sought after media commentator on HR, leadership, and business and has appeared in various publications including Sydney Morning Herald, Boss Magazine, NETT Magazine, Marie Claire, CLEO, My Business, Dynamic Business, Cosmopolitan & HR Monthly. In June 2012 Anne-Marie Co-authored ‘Mind Your Own Business’, a guide for small businesses, published by Mithra Publishing in the UK.