Five ways SME owners can beat the “new year, new me, new job” trend

With everyone making New Year’s resolutions to improve their lives, small-business leaders must ensure that doesn’t include leaving their old job

Five ways SME owners can beat the “new year

The new year is usually the time many employees evaluate their current situation at work and decide if it’s time to ditch their job and seek out a new venture.

A survey of 1,000 workers by Investors in People, the not-for-profit company, showed that one in five Brits decide to look elsewhere in the new year. People leave jobs for many reasons including seeking a higher wage, better benefits and perks, looking for less stress, to escape their boss,or because they don’t feel recognised for their hard work. 

As an employer this can cause a significant strain on the business just as the year begins. But with so many people thinking the same thing, what’s the best way to get ahead for 2019 and make sure your employees stay with you?

Arrange a team activity for January 

Employees will be suffering from the Christmas blues and will be dreading returning to their full inbox. Organising an exciting activity ahead of January that people can look forward to is a great way to keep your staff engaged and enthusiastic for the year ahead. Perhaps look to a fun and intense team activity as many will be trying to get fit and healthy in January. This will also enhance team morale and colleague relationships, which in turn will encourage them to remain in the business. 

Set up status meetings with employees

By being proactive and demonstrating your interest in your employees’ career and development you can find out what is working and what isn’t for them. Ask them what you or the company can do to keep them feeling excited about coming to work every day. You can work together to set goals for the year ahead in order to keep them on track and motivated. You could even trial them out in a higher role, giving them something to aim for and a chance to be promoted. Organising courses and training opportunities for the team will also show that as a boss you are investing in them and value them as part of your business. 

Be positive and proactive

A negative boss will have a negative impact on all their staff. You may also be dreading the return to the office after spending valuable time with your family over Christmas, but as the leader of the business you need to be upbeat and motivate the rest of the team. You may need to evaluate your approach to the team for the upcoming year, are you micromanaging too much? This can put people off and result in them seeking a more flexible role. 

Consider increasing salaries or introducing employee benefits

One of the main reasons people leave a company is the salary, according to a survey by Investors in People which showed that 51% of job seekers say money is their main reason for leaving and this certainly doesn’t help small businesses that are strapped for cash to retain their staff. 

As an SME you may not have the budget to reward the team with an increased salary this year, but perhaps you could introduce some employee benefits such as flexible working hours, bonuses, increase in commission or staff lunches. Recognition of a job well done goes a long way to creating good will and loyalty. Employees can be incentivised with luxury dinners, hotel stays away and spa days. 

Get to the bottom of the problem

If you notice any changes in your employee’s behaviour and suspect they may be considering handing in their notice, you will need to act quickly. Call the employee in for a meeting and try to talk to them to see if they are happy in their role and if anything is bothering them. It’s important to listen and get to the bottom of the problem which might be resolvable before they decide to leave. Employees may feel more confident talking to their line manager, who can then raise the issue to you. Adjusting work-life balance and listening to your employee can dilute the issue and show that you value them as a part of the team and would be sad to see them go. 

John Attridge
John Attridge

Share via
Copy link