Many employers find they’ll brace themselves for a wave of resignations or disgruntlement after the summer holiday period. Why? Well, often it’s that extended time of the year where colleagues get to kick-back, spend quality time with the family, and finally start assessing ‘is this really what I want for my life?’. We’ve been getting a perspective from HR consultancy owner, Carole Burman. She runs a female-led business in East Anglia and has offered the following advice for Eloquently Her’s readers.
What’s more infectious than a common cold in the workplace?
What’s likely to set the jungle-drums of workplace gossip on fire more so than when the guy from sales disappeared with the woman from finance at the Christmas party?
A plague of summertime resignations.
Okay, it’s not necessarily the case that scores of staff will go handing in their notice during the summer period, but as it’s likely to be the longest period of leave in any calendar year, you can be sure it does make employees reflect a little on what they ‘really value’ out of their professional choice.
It stands to reason that, while we’re taking ‘downtime’ we often have the head-space to look more at what our work means to us, and, more importantly, on how it fits with our ability to be a happy and healthy individual outside of work.
If we find we’re so disconnected from our families and stressed out by the time we take a summer holiday with them, we might wonder what it is about our daily work lives that just ‘isn’t computing’.
At MAD, we hear from businesses all throughout the year about lots of different challenges and resignations from key team members also feature (perhaps because one employee may start to consider their own contentment in the light of another deciding to go). We have noticed that we tend to see a flurry of activity of new clients in the immediate aftermath of the sunny holidays with this particular problem in mind.
Of course, that’s not to say it should be a fear on the mind of any employer, but it might be a perfect opportunity for us to remind the business world (and company bosses no matter what the scale of their enterprise) of some invaluable tips around retention and peak performance.
Our view is that retaining good staff is ALWAYS a whole lot better for everyone, than having to start the recruitment bandwagon when the clock is ticking.
Here’s some pointers to consider:
It sounds obvious, but as an employer, it’s imperative that there’s a system in place that you or someone assigned to do so, is regularly communicating with employees about their challenges, the industry obstacles, and anything pertinent that’s happening within the business.
People hate playing guessing games around what the company’s wider vision might be, so this can cause fear and anxiety if there’s not a regular process around internal communication.
It’s not JUST about money.
Yes, staff want to be able to pay their bills, but they also want to know where they sit in the company and whether their worth and work is valued.
The simplest retention tool around this is feedback. There’s never an excuse for continually avoiding appraisals. They’re vital. We can help you introduce those if they’re not currently part of your framework.
Do your staff know what the scope and opportunity is within the business? Are they trekking the same path with you, and do they know what potential new posts and projects there are for them within that.
Hierarchy is useful, but some can feel particularly stifled if it doesn’t feel agile enough to allow them to develop and expand their potential.
We’re talking way more than merely about a frustration with the photocopier here. Research suggests that employees quickly get frustrated if they feel their own business is behind the tech curve, compared to other competitor businesses.
It applies not only for the ‘tech tools’ you’re using in your industry, but for the tools you give them in their role. Are you enabling staff to work in an agile manner and respected them to work remotely because they have the kit and potential to do so? Small features like this in a job role can really help with retention.
Together as one
Do your staff feel connected – to the culture of the business, and to one another?
We all know mental health is being talked about more these days, as is isolation.
There’s every reason to explore how well your company handles the way it ensures collaborative working and team mentality.
Ensure you spot the early warning signs if someone is feeling excluded in any way. Far better to preserve that person’s health and enthusiasm than to see them leave because they feel isolated.