How to Keep Employees from Quitting After the New Year

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Have you noticed that employees tend to quit shortly after the New Year? If you’ve ever felt frustrated or stumped by this, you are not alone; keeping employees on board after the New Year is a battle for a lot of managers. However, it is a battle that can be won.

Why Do Employees Quit After the New Year?

Why it is that a company’s most valued employees sometimes quit after the New Year? Usually, it’s because they have made career-related New Year’s resolutions that are beckoning them away from their current company. Anand Sahay, Leader of Executive & Professional Search Division at Pinnacle, said, “It’s not uncommon for a company’s best employees to rethink their positions around the New Year. January and February are months that inspire people to dream of what the future may hold. Many employees, even those you think are totally satisfied, are dreaming of making a fresh start at a new company. Employers have to take extra measures to retain workers during this crucial time.”

How to Keep Employees from Quitting After the New Year

No company leader wants to see top-performing employees quit. Here are a few ways to keep your workers from giving you their notice, especially after the New Year:

  • Show appreciation – One of the most effective ways to lose employees is to fail to show them appreciation. Some employers think that their workers know they are valued. These employers may highly value their employees, but that’s not enough. Employees need to be shown appreciation in ways that are touching to them. Some workers will feel most appreciated by receiving affirming words, not just verbally, but also through cards and emails. Others will respond best to material objects of appreciation, such as gifts. Also, a portion of employees will feel appreciated when given more flexibility in their schedules. Showing appreciation to your employees is crucial to their satisfaction, so do not skimp in this area.


  • Communicate well – Lack of good communication heavily factors into employee dissatisfaction. Justin Bariso, Founder of Insight, wrote, “Have you lost touch with your team due to the end-of-the-year sprint? Have you been negligent in responding to calls or messages? Are you completely uninterested in your employees’ lives outside of work? If you’ve gotten out of this practice, apologize–and outline how you plan to make it better in the following year.”


  • Allow for freedom of speech – It’s easy to forget that employees have ideas they want to share. They don’t enjoy constantly taking orders without giving feedback to their managers (can you blame them?). A great way to increase employee satisfaction in your company is to let workers know that they are free to speak their minds. The article The Bottom Line for Employee Retention sums this idea up well: “Does your organization solicit ideas and provide an environment in which people are comfortable providing feedback? If so, employees can offer ideas, feel free to criticize, and commit to continuous improvement. If not, they bite their tongues or find themselves constantly in trouble – until they leave.”

Retaining Employees is an Achievable Goal

Retaining employees is a struggle for every company leader. However, it’s important to remember that retaining employees is an achievable goal. You can retain your best employees, specifically after the New Year, by showing them your appreciation, communicating often and well, and allowing them to speak their minds.

Have you ever lost a good employee after the New Year? Tell us about your experience in the section below.

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