By Marga Salvador on December 12, 2016
It's that time of the year again. Companies are starting to tie up ends for 2016 and your employees are fidgeting in their seats to get their Christmas bonuses and bolt. It isn't unusual for a noticeable number employees to stay with their respective companies just until the year ends. Come January and you find yourself slightly less staffed than before the holidays.
While 13th month pay is probably what's making your employees hold on until just December, like work perks and benefits, it is a bonus (albeit a mandatory one) that motivates your employees to do their job. In this case, to hold off their resignations. Offering the right extras or making certain moves early in the year will help your retention rate at the turn of the year.
Everyone, even the management team, is excited about Christmas and sometimes we want to finish all the work so you can really unplug during your break. However, it's precisely that unplugging that gives employees a reason to unplug for good. If you plan your operations to continue through the holidays (project timelines, meeting schedules, etc.), your employees will see a much less clear exit option because there are deliverables waiting at the new year. You can still have your holiday days off but make it clear that the books will need picking up again immediately after the break.
Highlight work-life balance throughout the year
If your employees are at a constant state of home and work equilibrium from January to November, the holidays in December will not seem like a huge break that they can use to sneak away. Creating a conducive environment by not just allowing your employees to recharge but supporting that recharge will make the holidays feel like a bonus break and not a big sigh of relief from all the work.
Some companies don't have the resources to make use of monetary incentives but here's a pro tip: they don't have to be. If a company's HR or management team studies their employee base close enough, you should have data or insight as to what makes them tick. If you have a bunch of sports fans, have a January gimmick to watch the season together complete with sponsored tailgate snacks. If you have foodies in the office, turn January Fridays into "Try This New Restaurant" Fridays and make the foodies look forward to that.
Even beyond January incentives, it's important to make your employees stay throughout the year and not just past December so by all means, incentivize the rest of the calendar with small efforts you can afford.
Ask them what will make them stay.
Understanding what makes your employees tick is an indispensable resource. Way before the Christmas fever kicks in, have a one on one with each of your employees and straight out ask them what they would stay for. If you do it close to December, it will be clear that you're scrambling but done early enough, it will be a collection of employee feedback like any other company appraisal. With this information, you have exactly what you need to come up with a game plan to avoid at least some of your December resignations.
The holidays is both a tough and looked forward to time for companies. Everyone wants a break but let's make sure that that break ends and you still have a team to come back to in January!