January is long, cold and dark, and on all those chilly mornings and dreary commutes or continued long days working from home, some of your staff are wondering is this really what I want? January is a key time for making big changes and that includes changing jobs or career.

Up to half of your employees, even the motivated and engaged ones, could be thinking of moving on if the right opportunity came up. And that number will be higher if you work in health, social care or high tech.

Understanding why people leave their jobs and taking action now could help you keep your best talent.

Take a moment to think about your team, have you got any people that fit these likely leaver descriptions?


In general, younger people (under 29) stay in their jobs for less time. A recent study showed that 42% of US millennials plan to change jobs within 1 to 3 years, and for millennial women that rate is even higher at 55%. While older colleagues might worry about looking like a job hopper, this doesn’t seem to worry younger workers

Millennials value challenge, development and progression very highly. If they aren’t getting this, they will look elsewhere. They also cite conflict with colleagues as a major reason for leaving jobs. If you’re reliant on a large number of younger people and you don’t want to be recruiting all the time, make sure their managers know that they need to be challenged and to consider if they are getting on well with colleagues.


People are more likely to quit their jobs around significant work anniversaries. Sometimes they will be thinking ok, I’ve been here 2 years, that will look ok on my CV, I can leave now. Sometimes they will be thinking – Crikey I’ve been here for 10 years, where is my life going? I better find something better now before I’m too old!

Are you tracking your people’s work anniversaries? It’s nice to send a card or some other kind of appreciation, but it’s even better to get their managers to schedule some time to talk about their development and how much they are valued.

Same old, same old

Some of us love routine and working on something we are really great at. Others need a new challenge regularly. One of the top reasons people leave their jobs is boredom, or feeling under employed. Coming back from a week or two off and facing a stack of work that is exactly like the stuff you’ve been doing for months will be totally demotivating for some people. Make sure you know who on your team thrives on variety and do your best to accommodate that. Not everyone responds to the same motivators, so take some time to understand how to manage different personalities.

They work for “that” manager

Bad managers are the top reason people quit their jobs. Managing people is really hard, and not everyone will take to it naturally, or be able to manage every type of person well. It’s so much cheaper to train your managers in the basics than it is to cope with the aftermath of bad management. Done right it’s extremely motivating and enjoyable.

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