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Staff retention should be top of your New Year priority list

Despite all the fun of the festive season, the Christmas bubble has been replaced with January blues, so staff retention should be a priority for the New Year.
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Faced with the cold and grey, many employees will have returned to work on 3 January only to find that they are feeling unmotivated and lacking in energy – this can make staff retention tricky.

Employers shouldn’t pass the dreaded January blues off as a phase that will soon be over. Instead, this is the prime time for many, especially those in junior positions, to look for a fresh start with a new role. This highlights the importance of staff retention.

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At LinkedIn, we’ve done the research – and found that whilst two thirds of business owners feel fulfilled at work, just 30 per cent of junior managers feel the same way.

So, how can your business beat the January blues and ensure your younger employees are engaged when they return from the Christmas break?

Understand what employees want

It’s easy to fall into a trap of thinking that employees care most about salary, and assume that a pay-rise or a bonus is key to retaining them.

However, while salary is undoubtedly an important factor for any professional, our research has found that an overwhelming 58 per cent of UK professionals would take a pay cut in order to feel happier at work.

Not only this, but just 18 per cent of professionals consider financial perks like annual bonuses to be important to their satisfaction.

This shows that there’s a bigger picture here – and it’s important for employers to listen to what employees say matter to them to achieve staff retention. We’ve found that clear opportunities for career development are particularly important to younger employees, with 31 per cent of professionals under 35 describing this as one of the most important factors affecting their job satisfaction – compared to just 20 per cent of those aged 35 and over.

By instating and encouraging staff to take up training options at your company, you can show younger employees that they are able develop themselves professionally while in their role, and increase your chances of staff retention.

Shout about your values

Our recent “Work Satisfaction” survey showed that 52 per cent of UK professionals consider a company’s values to be a deal breaker when it comes to accepting a new job. On top of this, one fifth of UK professionals say that aligning with a company’s values is a key factor for their fulfilment at work.

This makes it vital for businesses to clearly communicate what they stand for, especially if they want to keep staff motivated in the new year. Social media is a great channel for this, and having an up-to-date LinkedIn company page means you can really push across your business’s culture and values, and drive engagement among employees and potential candidates.

Recognition

Everybody likes to have their hard work and achievements recognised, and showing your employees some appreciation is a brilliant way of showing staff that they are getting off to a flying start in January and achieving staff retention.

There are a number of ways of doing this; from simply saying thank you, to celebrating employee performance online.

You can also do this publicly, by shouting about your company’s achievements on your social media sites – clearly displaying that your business is proud of its employees and the work you do.

Dan Dackombe is director of LinkedIn Talent Solutions, EMEA

Image: Shutterstock

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