Thursday 3 December 2015 12:12 pm

How to keep staff happy, retain your best talent and attract new employees in the new year

Catherine Neilan is head of politics and investigations at City A.M.

Catherine Neilan is head of politics and investigations at City A.M.

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As the New Year approaches, many people take a more contemplative view to their work (and life) and evaluate what would make them happier.

While employee happiness and wellbeing have been zeitgeist topics for a while, it’s worth noting that there is nothing fluffy and transient about the genuine long lasting effects it can have on retaining and attracting people.

When looking for new opportunities, in the past, prospective employees trusted what companies told them. In today’s connected world, they expect companies to show them and walk the talk. So how can you become the company that no-one wants to leave and everyone wants to join?


People want to feel that the company they work for and the work they do represents who they are today and contributes to who they want to become. Happiness for Generation Y in particular lies in the culture of a company that aligns with their own goals and attitudes.

They expect transparency, flexibility, creativity, autonomy, and crucially development personally and professionally. Take some time to really hone what your values are and vocalise your environment for your employee’s happiness.

Listen first 

Everything you need to know about your employees can be learnt by taking the time to really listen, forget your agenda and instead tune in. At DADI+, it’s my pleasure to have one to one discussions with team members every six months to really hear the nuances of what’s working for them and what isn’t, learn their individual quirks and create solutions together.

This avoids making assumptions about who they are, what they need and actually want as well as provide a basis for building unity and deeper investment into your employees.


Emphasise the importance of each individual's contribution to your company and demonstrate how all of their work moves the entire team closer to the bigger goals. People are energised and happier when they feel that their contributions matter and their participation is valued by others.

As an entirely remote working company, Slack is our tool of choice to aid collaboration. Employees use it as a way to openly share ideas and opinions about how to map out projects, solve tricky problems and innovate the way the company is developing.