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This weekend I was at a seminar organised by the entrepreneur coaching company that James Caan has set up.  One of the presenters Nic Rixon, quoted the following statistic:

“When the turn comes, 35% of staff will leave ”

Now if this is true its a frightening statistic.  But what does it mean?

One view is that it is to be expected. In a normal year you might expect 10% turnover of staff, naturally.  We have have this crisis for around 3 years now, so on that basis there is three years of pent up demand to move jobs.  As people weren’t able to move that might account for the number.

Another view is that organisations cut back salaries and pay rises and that moving jobs is the most effective way to get a pay rise.  So again its a natural pent up demand.  They are waiting to leave.

I think this recession was different in that organisations held onto staff but asked them to do 4 day weeks or take a pay freeze/drop.  However, has there been a return to normality?  Most have gone back to 5 days now, but have wages and salaries increased?  Have they heck.

So what can you do.  Staff are not stupid and they can see when the recession/financial crisis/slow economy  is unwinding and the climate is improving.  A leading indicator is recruitment companies recruiting and I have seen a lot of that recently.  So they obviously think times are improving.

It is therefore a time to be loving your staff, talking to them and looking after them.  The whole point of 4 day weeks was to retain capability rather than having to slash and burn.  Retaining skills and knowledge as the overall opinion was that there would be a return to normal – just as we have seen.  However now is not the time to  start losing those staff.

So talk to them, communicate your strategy, socialise your strategy, explain their importance and show that you mean it.

There may be some people you want to move on.  There will certainly be some you want to keep.

It may be a time to start poaching some from the competition.  Just make sure you are simply not making the merry-go-round go around even faster.