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Written by Michelle McDonagh

Employees Often Re-evaluate their Careers in January

January every year is a time when people reassess what they have achieved the previous year and what they aspire to achieve in the next 12 months. They will then go about setting goals and targets.

REMEMBER your people are in this frame of mind in January, whether they openly admit to it or not. Some are passive and others are deliberate but most people are or should be thinking, ‘ what’s next for me?’

Employee Career Goals (Ireland)

According to Morgan McKinley’s Workplace & Hiring Trends Survey from last year, the career goals of professionals in Ireland were;

  • Earn more money (30%)
  • Improve work-life balance (28%)
  • Improve job satisfaction (24%)
  • Progress within my business (18%)
employee job change

Late January is the Most Popular Time of Year for Job Changes

Late January / early February is one of the busiest times of the year for recruiters so employers have two to four weeks to act and discourage their team from looking at other potential opportunities.

People need to feel valued for the effort they put in and appreciate encouragement in their professional development.

Two important actions you can take in January to retain your employees

1.      Organise a one-to-one meeting

The importance of this conversation is massively undervalued. Take some time out from your diary for an uninterrupted 30-minute conversation with each of your team members to ask them;

·        How are they feeling as we start 2020?

·        What are they most proud of from last year?

·        How would they like to see their role/ responsibilities develop in 2020?

·        Do they have any other issues/concerns to discuss?

·        Don’t forget to give them feedback on how they are doing and how you see 2020 shaping up for them

·        Ask them would they like to make any changes to how you both work together/ communicate e.g. weekly meetings, more 5-minute phone call updates etc.

2.      Summarise the conversation in an email

Send an email to summarise the conversation to your employee and make a note of any follow-up actions and diary to follow through. This is critical to keep people engaged into April/May and beyond.

Make the commitment to take these steps today and you won’t regret it. It will be the most valuable use of your time to set the team up for the year ahead.

What works best in your workplace for retaining employees in the New Year? Let us know your thoughts.

 If you need support in having these conversations or managing issues that arise, email us now at

or call Michelle on 086 878 2557

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©Aspire HR. This document is intended to be a general guide only.