A new year brings about new challenges for a business. Your staff have had time to rest, and reflect, over the Christmas break. And chances are, they’ve given a lot of thought to their careers.

Unfortunately, for some of those employees, they’ll be thinking that the time has come to move on. For your developing business, that’s not usually great news. However, there’s plenty you can do to try and retain your best staff. And, if they do still choose to move on, now is a great time to make sure that you’re prepared to handle this in the most effective way, with the policies you need in place.

Let’s take you through some of the key areas you need to think about:

Management training

New year, new job. A cliché you’ve heard often? In fact, it’s well-known that people often start looking for a different position at the start of the year.

One of the main reasons they look for a new role is because they have an issue with their current manager. Perhaps they feel that they are undervalued? Maybe they’re being micro-managed? Or they might feel that they don’t receive enough support, or direction?

Being great at your job is one thing, but managing a team needs quite a different skill-set. And, unfortunately, this isn’t one that comes naturally to most. Therefore, the new year may be the time for you to consider how you can support your managers. With the right training, they’ll perform better in their roles and, in turn, have a happier, more productive – retained – team.

Talent planning and development

What’s another key reason you might be losing staff at this time of year? It’s a lack of opportunity for development within your business.

Do you know where your staff feel they are in terms of their career? Do they know if you value their skills, feel they are ready for development, or if you think that they need to improve in certain areas? You may already have an appraisal or review process that you think may be answering these questions for you. However, you need to consider whether or not this process is effective.

It’s time to think about how you approach employee development. Have you thought about what key skills will be needed within the company to ensure continued future success? And do you have a training plan to reflect that? If not, it’s time to get some new processes in place.

Succession planning and recruitment

We’ve all been there. Despite all of the great reasons for them to stay, a key member of your team leaves the company. And, by the time you’ve thought about where to advertise, and what to put in the job spec., they’re more than half way through their notice period.

Before you know it, they leave the company and so too does all the valuable information they kept in their head. This leaves the rest of your team trying to piece together what they can, and doing overtime to cover the work until a replacement is found. Let’s be honest: this isn’t the most positive start to the year.

You can’t always control whether a staff member chooses to move on. However, what you can control is the way you handle it. Therefore, it’s time to start thinking about whether you have roles you regularly recruit for. Is there a better way to manage them?

It’s also worth thinking about the key people in your business. Not just those in the most senior roles, but the ones who have specialist skills or expertise. How would you manage if they left? And how would you ensure vital knowledge isn’t lost? It’s time to consider who could potentially replace them within the business, or be trained up for the future.

Company goals and strategy

Have you set your company’s goals? Outlined a strategy? And communicated this to your staff within the last six to 12 months? Brilliant. But do your team still remember what these goals are?

Companies grow and change at a rapid rate. And, in a successful business, there’s always a new target to meet. Therefore, it’s essential that your staff are updated with how the business is doing. And if you haven’t defined your business’ goals yet, you’re simply assuming that everyone knows what they’re doing, and why.

Make sure your staff are clear as to what their objectives are. Share whether goals are being met, and let them know how they – individually – are contributing to the company’s success. Hopefully, they returned from the Christmas break well-rested and raring to go. So make sure you harness that energy, and focus it where it will be most effective to grow your business.

Policies and handbooks

Have you been employing staff for a few years now? You might not have any policies and handbooks in place because you set the business up without them initially. Or, if you do have them, chances are that you haven’t updated them for a few years. And it’s worth thinking about doing this sooner rather than later.

Why is this important? Employment laws are regularly updated. To make sure you’re up to date with the changes, it’s time to start looking at what you have already, and what you may need to introduce. Be careful: if what you have is out of date, or incorrect, it could cause you some serious – and costly – problems.

But don’t worry: there are steps you can take now to make sure that your information is up to date. Or, if you don’t have policies or handbooks at all, rest assured that there are only a handful of documents that you really need to get you started. And, you don’t need to be concerned that these will be prohibitive, and place restrictions on your business, as they can be written and adapted to suit your company’s style.


Can you relate to any of these points? Perhaps they’ve raised a question that you have about your business? Or made you realise that there’s an essential process missing from your company? No problem – simply get in touch, and we can chat further. We’ll catch-up over a coffee, and Limelight HR can help you to get this new year off to the best possible start for your business.