New Year, New You. We’ve heard it so many times relating to New Year’s resolutions to exercise more, eat heathier and lose weight. We make promises to ourselves to read more, reduce screen time, play with the kids more and strike a better work-life balance. Time off over the festive season – if we are fortunate to have it – gives us a chance to pause and reflect on what is important to us. This often leads to another resolution: New Year, New Role.

Typically, we see a spike in people wanting to change jobs in mid-January. They have often had a break and after a couple of weeks back at work find nothing has changed. Those same frustrations are still apparent, so they decide it’s time for that next opportunity. The key for employees is deciding whether anything can be improved in your existing role, or a fresh start is what you need. Just as importantly for managers, if you fear you are on the brink of losing a valued employee, give yourself the chance to change things up while you can.

Tips for job hunters

If you find yourself wanting a new position, spend some time reflecting, ask yourself what really frustrates you. Keep in mind that if the job was easy it wouldn’t exist. Often, it’s not the task or the duties, but the people you work with that can make or break you. This is why culture fit is so important and if you need to move elsewhere, ensure you are joining an organisation where your values are aligned.

Under the right circumstances, difficult times can bring people together – a close tight knit team under pressure can perform amazingly compared to group of high performing individuals who look to ‘out do’ each other for individual recognition. The latter could be what is making you feel the need to move on. However, even in a supportive team, if the difficult times are ongoing and not project based there is a risk of burnout. If it’s the constant unrelenting pressure that is getting you, it is worth determining whether these are unusual circumstances, or whether it is status quo before taking the plunge to move elsewhere. Ensure you have the conversation with your manager, schedule a meeting, have an agenda, and stick to it. Without raising and discussing issues nothing will change, they may see you being stretched and achieving targets and presume everything is okay. If they shrug their shoulders and can’t see the demand calming down anytime soon, you have your answer.

Tips for managers

If there was something you could do to improve the working conditions for a valued employee before you lose them, of course you would do it. The most powerful thing you can do is stay in touch with your staff through regular communication, problem-solving, feedback, and recognition. These steps can and do reduce turnover rates.

As a manager, you have the power to prevent issues with employee retention by creating processes and systems that will make employees stay longer and work productively in your company. Ask yourself:

  • Do you have a clear vision?
  • Do you know your employees’ perceptions of their responsibilities?
  • Have you provided the relevant tools or training to increase employee success?

Managers have the power to control aspects such as culture and environment.  Renumeration is always important, but it’s not just about the money. Splitting responsibilities, providing ongoing learning opportunities through courses or training, introducing work from home options, or offering flexibility with hours may see a significant positive shift in employee morale.

Remember motivation is fleeting, consistency is the key. As usual, feel free to reach out and discuss.

Happy recruiting!

Andrew Hill

Image by Andrea Piacquadio