Christmas might be one our favourite times of year but with every high comes a low, and it’s no surprise that for job sites January is their peak time.

Staff retention is a problem that is particularly prevalent during the New Year. With long dark nights and empty wallets the New Year is naturally a time for people to reinvent themselves, look to change roles and progress their careers.

One average the cost of recruiting, inducting, training and admin can easily run over £5000, and that’s before the time it takes before the new staff reaches ‘optimum productivity’.

As the old saying goes, one ounce of prevention is better than one pound of a cure. So what can employers do to help retain staff during this yearly exodus?

Work-life balance

Burnout is real. If staff members are expected to work all hours and be on constant call they are more likely to be looking for better opportunities, especially if it’s affecting their home life and mental health. Workplace wellbeing programs can be incredibly rewarding for staff. Staff need to know those above them are concerned for their wellbeing and understand the importance of work-life balance. Could you introduce flexible working or schedules, ensure late nights are followed by late arrivals or extra days off to use up in lieu?

Reward and Recognition

Staff leave jobs because they don’t feel their work is valued. Introducing a reward and recognition scheme can help them feel appreciated for the work they do. There are many agencies that offer this service but even a small team with a small budget can introduce a reward system that recognises improvements, progress and innovation.

Training or Development

Staff need to feel like they’re moving forward in life. Studies show gaining new skills or developing themselves professionally will help retention levels. Attending conferences, seminars or industry events can be an easy way to add to knowledge and skills and open up networks. Ask your own staff what goals they have and how you can help them attain them. It is in the best interests of your business to ensure everyone reaches their full potential. There are many free mentoring scheme out there and they can be incredibly effective for some staff.


We are stronger together. Good objective setting with team goals being fed down through objectives and appraisals can really help pull a team together. Encourage collaborative working where possible and always consider team celebrations when milestones are met.


Think hard about the culture of the work place and what measures can be effectively put in place to make it a happy, progressive, and motivational space for all your staff. Keeping moral high and communication regular and clear will do wonders to prevent retention becoming an issue.