How to retain your top employees this year

Now that the new year is underway, you’re probably easing yourself back into your regular business routine. While your desk may still be neat and tidy, there are issues you’ll soon have to handle.

One of those is retaining your best employees. We say that because January and February are busy months for jobseekers. Without knowing it, your employees may be considering a change of scenery. And with so many roles on offer, they may be prized away.

So, how do you keep your best talent? And what is it that could turn their heads?

Time for a new job?

Alongside taking a breather, the Christmas break is a time for reflecting and planning. Employees may have renewed goals for 2020, or are plotting fresh career paths. Recruiters are aware of this, which is why the risk of departures at this time of year is particularly high.

The competitive nature of the Irish jobs market also makes it difficult to retain your top employees. Recent HR surveys reveal that almost half of Irish employers expect to expand their workforce in 2020. This suggests that the battle to attract and retain top talent will be just as fierce as 2019.

With opportunities aplenty, your best employees are likely to be on your competitor’s talent list. To deter departures, give your employees a reason to stay.

The importance of workplace culture

Workplace culture is the reason many employees seek new jobs. However, it’s not an easy concept to define. Workplace culture includes your company’s values, leadership style and opportunities for growth or promotion.

You’ve to ask yourself many questions when it comes to workplace culture. Am I doing enough to ensure employees’ opinions are valued? Am I promoting healthy behaviours, work ethics and attitudes?

You need employees to share your company’s values. If not, they’re more likely to move on.

Tip on how to retain employees

There are many ways to improve your chances of retaining your best employees. Consider the following:

  1. Career conversations: Encourage managers to talk with employees. Get to know the employee’s goals and how the business can help them achieve them.
  2. Personal and career development: Initiatives such as training and education courses can improve employee job satisfaction.
  3. Employee autonomy: Having a say in all aspects of the work they do improves job satisfaction.
  4. Introduce wellbeing initiatives. These practices give employees the time and resources to focus on their physical and mental health.
  5. Consider flexible work options. Flexible working promotes a healthy work-life balance and gives employees more time to enjoy their personal lives.

However simple these steps may seem, their impact on wellbeing and the workplace environment as a whole will be beneficial for both your retention rate and your entire business.

The importance of employee engagement

Employees having their own say is vital when it comes to retention. A one-off yearly review will no longer cut it. Instead, conduct frequent employee surveys. Then, respond to their feedback to demonstrate that you value their views. Remember to take a ‘bottom-up’ rather than a ‘top-down’ approach.

Need our help?

If you would like further complimentary advice on employee retention from an expert, our advisors are ready to take your call. Call us on 01 886 0350 or request a callback here.

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Nora Cashe


Nóra studied Law in Griffith College Dublin and qualified as a Barrister in 2008, practising in the area of Criminal law. She is also member of the Irish Employment Law Association.

Nora has extensive experience representing clients at Employment Tribunal hearings, Conciliation / Mediation meetings before both the Workplace Relations Commission and the Labour Court. 

Nóra is a member of the Irish Employment Law Association and engages with the WRC Adjudication Service as part of their stakeholder engagement forum.

Deiric McCann

Genos International Europe

Deiric McCann leads Genos International Europe – The EU division of a world-leading provider of emotional intelligence solutions. 

With over two decades experience at the highest levels of management, Deiric supports clients to develop the resilience, emotional intelligence, psychological safety and engagements of their employees.

Rhiannon Coyne

Graphite HRM

Rhiannon Coyne is a Senior HR Consultant at Graphite HRM and will be providing an overview of best practice on how to deal with complaints of bullying and harassment in the workplace. 

With a number of recent updates to employment laws, Rhiannon will take a closer look at employment equality and how it is interlinked to Health & Safety and what employers can learn from recent case laws.

David Begg

Workplace Relations Commission

David Begg was appointed Chairperson of the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) in January 2021.

David is also a professor at Maynooth University Institute of Social Sciences. Mr Begg’s extensive history in the trade union movement included leading the ESB Officers Association and Irish Congress of Trade Unions, stepping away from the latter in 2001 to chair international aid agency Concern.

David Begg was also previously a director of the Central Bank of Ireland between 1995 and 2010.