This year has seen the biggest personnel changes in the history of my business, Since we started I have only been used to taking on people and having them stay with us, but since the start of 2012 we have seen five departures and three new starts which is a new experience.

Staff churn can be a good thing

Chatting to my accountant about this, he admitted that his receptionist had also left. However, by bringing in a new person he had been able to implement some changes that would have been impossible otherwise.

Does this level of turnover worry me? Not really, because everybody who is leaving is doing so to progress their career. I never expected young people with university degrees to stay working on my sales desk forever. And at their age, if someone came knocking at my door asking me to move to Amsterdam to work, I’d have probably gone as well! If I was losing people because of working conditions or money then I would be worrying, but as it is those that have left have gone onto “better things”.  

Staff perks

I work hard to provide a challenging work environment. I also try to look after all of the team and have had things like a company pension scheme for six years. The company offers a health scheme to which everybody is enrolled and there’s a bonus scheme in which everyone is included. So as an employer I do try harder than other small businesses I know, to provide a caring sharing environment.

Time to review requirements

Five out, three in surely that doesn’t add up? Well, the state of flux in the business at the moment means it is a good time to re-examine staffing levels and see what efficiencies I can make. 2012 has been a challenging year for most businesses and I don’t see the business climate getting very much better for some years to come. That doesn’t mean that I intend to downsize, but I can rationalise and reallocate resources across departments for greater efficiency.

I see this as an opportunity; new people coming in means new ideas and new skills that they can bring to the job. It means that any changes that I implement are seen as the way that things are done – resistance to change is always a very difficult mindset to overcome.

So as Summer draws to a close, we are ready, geared up for action and raring to go, refreshed, reinvigorated and refocused.