The Turn of the Calendar & What Employers Should Know
Updated: Dec 5, 2022
We cannot stop it. We cannot control it. We love it and we hate it. With uncontrollable Father Time dictating it for all of us, another calendar year in the workplace is upon us. There is so much that comes along with that for employees that employers need to keep in mind.
You can venture to guess these top 5 things are happening right now with your staff. And with it, I provide recommendations on what you as the employer can do to help not only navigate your employees into a smooth 2023, but also ensure they know you value them as humans and you can be assured they want to stick around.
1. They are evaluating the year that is ending.
Was it a 'banner year' for your employee? Did they knock everything project out of the park? Did they get all positive feedback? Did they avoid crisis in their life? Did they finally take their dream vacation? Chances are these are all a big NO.
For most employees their year went something like this: highs and lows, ups and downs, mundane and routine schedules, birthday and holiday celebrations and maybe a vacation or two if they were lucky.
Some employees also had the exact opposite of a banner year and suffered tremendous significant life changes such as: the loss of loved ones, a divorce, their child suffered a significant injury or they themselves were met with a health scare.
Employers: If you don't already have a year-end meeting scheduled with your staff, now is the time to do that and ask them how they felt this year was for them (both personally and professionally) and get a sense of what was significant for them in every sense. This can help you to understand where your employees are at as they enter into a new calendar year and what is top of mind for them as you work to set goals for the new year. If you happen to be doing your performance evaluations right now, just add this conversation to that.
2. They are planning the year that is ahead.
We all do it. New Year's is coming and that means a chance to reset it all, right? Start over. Buy a treadmill at home. Finally take that trip. Retire. Promise yourself you will stay on top of your email in 2023. Some employees also know that some of the bad stuff that came about in 2022, will also carry into 2023 and they are planning for that as well.
Employers: In that same year-end meeting, make sure you are talking with your employees about their plans for 2023. You can gain a lot of information in an informal meeting (or at performance evaluation time) and seek to understand their thought process as they head into a new year. And don't assume that if your employee had star performance in 2022 that they will stay the star performer in 2023. Find out what is going on with them as they plan their personal and professional year ahead in 2023 and discuss how their plans align with your business plans and needs of the business. It is important they know you are thinking about what you can do as their employer to ensure they know you value them at all levels.
3. They are setting priorities.
Whether your employee writes these down or just sets them in their mind, they are setting both their personal and professional priorities for the upcoming year. And to no surprise, a lot of times those personal and professional priorities do not align.
For most employees, they categories priorities to three kinds: critical, important and desirable.
Employers: Help your employees do this when it comes to their position at work. Talk to them about the big picture. Not everything that comes their way is critical and we all now that a lot of what get's put on our plates is simply desirable. And while all of it seems important, explaining to them why their role is so critical to make it all work gives them a sense of purpose and importance. Having an open and honest meeting about what takes priority to them personally, can help bridge you to understand how professionally they ensure success in their role.
4. They are looking around for new opportunities.
There is no beating around this one. It is just a fact. This is the time when all employees at least start to wonder if a new job makes sense for them. Is it finally time to 'make that move' they are asking themselves? Whether you want to believe it or not, especially in the first quarter of 2023, employees will be looking around to see how the job market is doing.
Employers: Efforts in employee retention have never been more important. When was the last time you did a compensation analysis to ensure your positions are in line with the market? Is your current benefit plan offerings the latest and greatest? Are you keeping remote or flexible work options on the table? What about your last Employee Engagement Survey? Culture is king and the type of organization you are matters now more than ever.
5. They are seeing what their current employer is bringing to the table in 2023.
Employees are savvy. They are watching you, their employer. They talk to their colleagues in their chosen field and compare notes. They are constantly comparing what their company 'does' for them vs. what their friends company is doing for them. 2023 will be a pivotal year for employers to gear up and get creative and look for some ideas that will ensure your employees remain.
Employers: Let's get rid of the 'Great Resignation' fad and talk about the 'Great Retention' fad of 2023. It's time to hone in on things like your culture, employee well-being, mental health benefits, career growth plans and stay interviews as ways you can work to ensure employees see how you are designing benefits and the culture around them.
The turn of the calendar will happen. The psychological effects is has on all of us has both positive and negative reactions depending upon what occurred in 2022 and what we know is going to occur in 2023.
There is so much we cannot control. But as employers, what we can do is show our employees that we recognize this time of year is a period of evaluation and reevaluation for them as individuals as well as the company as a whole. It will be imperative as we head into 2023 that employers have these significant conversations with employees.
Employers: Do not be dewy-eyed about the effect the calendar has on everyone. Evaluate your benefits and programs internally and make sure that your focus is where it should be - on the employees who work hard each day to ensure your success.