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Downsizing activity backlash bites bosses

MANY businesses are experiencing a backlash to the downsizing activities of the past decade with high levels of staff turnover and huge skill deficits.

This is the view expressed by Drake Executive Consulting national manager, Chris Meddows-Taylor.

He said Drake research found more than 70 per cent of businesses had staff turnover passing the point of acceptability and were starting to feel the pinch as a result.

“The fallout from this activity is that we now have a workforce that is extremely mobile and has very little workplace commitment and loyalty,” Mr Meddows-Taylor said.

“As a consequence of high levels of mobility, tenure has dropped to alarming levels with the average employee now spending less than four years with an organisation.

“In fact, predictions are that those entering the workforce in the late 1990s will have changed employers nine times by the time they are thirty-two.”

Mr Meddows-Taylor said companies were losing employees with knowledge skills and capabilities.

“In addition, they’re finding it increasingly difficult to sustain long-term relationships with clients and their image with the business community is suffering irreparable damage,” he said.

Mr Meddows-Taylor said one way to reverse the problem was to offer a different employment deal – one that showed commitment as a two-way process between employer and employee.

“Employees are now demanding a better balance between workplace and family commitments,” he said.

“They want management to schedule meetings before 5:30pm, they expect allowances to be made for attending children’s sporting and cultural events and, for those who travel interstate frequently, that expect they don’t spend undue time away from home.

“Clearly, the companies that help employees juggle work and family will be the big winners in the competition for good employees,” Mr Meddows-Taylor said.

“Workers also want the training and skills development to allow them to keep pace with the latest developments and ensure they have the necessary tools to do their job effectively,” he said.

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