top of page

Turnover. EN

Carmen López

Psicóloga. Master en Recursos Humanos.



Para buscar talento no hay que leer currículos uno tras otro, sino seguir el rastro que deja: Un trabajo excelente. Porque lo importante no es lo que aprendes, o las empresas en las que trabajas. Lo importante es lo que haces. 

Para realizar un trabajo de forma excepcional hacen falta cinco cosas: Energía, enfoque, tiempo, creatividad y un compromiso absoluto con la calidad. 

Detrás de estos cinco pilares solo hay una cosa: la motivación. La motivación es lo que diferencia al campeón mundial del segundo clasificado. La motivación hace correr a un corredor de maratón hacia la meta cuando ya no tiene fuerzas, a un escalador alcanzar una cumbre imposible, a un creador luchar consigo mismo hasta que su obra está perfecta. Con motivación sacas tiempo de donde no hay, mantiene tu nivel de energía y concentración al máximo, ves las cosas de forma diferente. Con motivación eres capaz de tirar un trabajo casi perfecto a la papelera y empezar de cero hasta que sea excelente. 

La motivación se genera por la necesidad. Está claro: si alquilen tiene hambre, no hay duda de que pondrá todos sus recursos mentales, físicos, financieros y su tiempo en satisfacer esa necesidad. La necesidad es el motivo, la necesidad dispara la motivación. Esto no es nuevo. En los años 30 del pasado siglo, Abraham Maslow propuso una teoría sobre las necesidades humanas. Según ella, la gente que moviliza sus recursos lo hace por causa de una necesidad: comer, sexo, dinero, pertenencia a un grupo, reconocimiento o autorealización… 

Pero para encontrar la fuente del talento aún tenemos que buscar más allá de la necesidad. No hay duda de que las necesidades físicas anulan al resto: El hambre, la sed, evitar el dolor… pero en el ámbito que nos movemos, en economías desarrolladas, estas necesidades suelen estar cubiertas. La mayoría de las personas están motivadas por las llamadas necesidades superiores, las que nos distinguen del resto del reino animal: Dinero, aceptación o pertenencia a un grupo, reconocimiento o autorealización. Y como muy bien saben los expertos en marketing y los buenos vendedores, las necesidades se pueden crear, cambiar o matizar. Solo hace falta controlar una cosa: Las convicciones. Si alguien está realmente convencido de algo se convierte en imparable.


Las convicciones son el origen de todo lo demás.




All companies devote a lot of time and effort selecting the people who will be part of them. They want an efficient, harmonious and profitable team. Bosses dream with teams who don’t create problems and whose gear is as productive as possible. Sometimes you can get that dream team, but it doesn’t lasts. Reality shows that people come and go, forcing the company to start over again. Recruiting is an onerous process that drains energy, money and time. It’s not just a big corporation’s problem, but medium and little sized companies too. 


When we show the cost of losing a talented employee to companies (specially SME’s) they startle.

Let’s make a little cost’s analysis:

Economic costs:

​Cost 1. Lower productivity. When somebody go, other people will take charge of her activities and it will impact directly on their own productivity: Lower quality, not fulfilled deadlines, closed projects… you name it.  
Cost 2. Lost knowledge, skills and contacts that she takes with 

Cost 3. Customers she takes with

Cost 4. Recruitment of a new employee. You contract a company to do it or your company do. Either way it costs money. You can count here a 30% of her annual salary.

Cost 5. Learning costs. A new employee needs between 6 months and 2 years to produce like the last one (If you are lucky and he/she is so productive)

The total costs are, according to Haygroup, between 6 and 18 months of the employee income depending on job, responsibility, technical other managerial skills and culture. Let’s put it simple: for a person whose income is 100.000$ per year you can count with a cost of 100.000$ if she leaves.

​Psychological costs (For the team):

Psychological stress on the team due to personal bounds with the one who leaves.

Psychological stress on the team due to more workload.

People that go often incite their workmates to go, sometimes on purpose.

Time and energy to teach the new workmate about IT, workflows, skills, politics…

Lack of motivation when people see to much people leaving. It leads to a lower performance.

​Organization Costs

​The new person has to adapt himself to the new team, and the team to her. Roles, ways to do things and sometimes even culture changes. According to HBR article “The New Path Forward: Creating Compelling Careers for Employees and Organizations” by CEB we are changing our way of working, going from an individual work to a teamwork, due to the growth of complexity of the projects the companies work on. You have to integrate your new employee not just on her new role, but on a team.


The investigation carried out by Allen, Bryant and Vardaman in 2010 show the seven most common causes behind turnover that managers can control. They are ordered by importance.

​1. Bad relationship with boss.

​2. Low job satisfaction. How much you love or hate what you do at work

3. Role conflict. When a person is asked to do contradictory tasks or has different obligations in different groups. It leads to stress.

4. No opportunity for promotion. People want to grow, learn, improve and be promoted, specially talented people. If they don’t get it, motivation drops and they search new challenges.

5. Stress. 

6. Bad relationship with workmates. The worst of it is giving someone a cold shoulder, but, poor communication, misunderstandings, rivalry, envy, jealousy lead to higher turnover.

7. Money. Important, but surprisingly not first, second or third rated.

There are two more causes of turnover, but they are out of the hand of the organization:

​1. Events in the life of the employee: family reasons, health problems…

​2. Job market: If a set of skills are highly demanded, there is more turnover due to offers and counteroffers of other companies.

In an interview in Forbes Magazine, Bernadette Kenny, CCO in Adecco explains that employees are starting to see their companies as promise breakers, hypocrite and non trustworthy. They assign those characteristics to their bosses and don’t feel they have to be loyal to them. 

The question you have to ask yourself is: Are you doing everything to keep your talent onboard? People doesn’t look just for a job. They want to belong to a group, they seek recognition and prestige, they want to be useful and to leave a legacy. A job is not just about making a living, but self-esteem and self-improvement. 


The investigations show that the highest probability of leaving comes when the employees meet with friends and compare themselves with the. How are they doing? Home much have they achieved? Which position they have? Salary? That’s why after a meeting with old schoolmates or alumni from college the probability of leaving go up 16%. Birthdays and work anniversaries (specially 40 and 50 birthdays) rise the probability +12%. These are moments where the people make balance and think: What have I achieved? It’s a natural thing, because in those moments of our life we have covered our basic necessities and we seek something more.  

According to Score Media Metric, a service that measures internet use, job searches exploded in  january 2016 by 32% in EEUU compared to previous year. With an unemployment rate similar to Switzerland’s, we expect a big rise on the turnover’s ratio, specially in high skilled profiles. 


​In this situation the companies that know how to retain their talent will have a clear competitive advantage and will reduce personal costs. Keeping your talent will be not just key to success, but key to survive.

Your talented staff doesn’t leave after making a logical decision. The decision to leave is emotional. How they feel in the company, how good is the relationship with the boss and with their workmates, how interesting, important and challenging are their daily activities are the main reasons to leave or stay. Salary, holidays and distance to home are important too, but are secondary.

​Most managers put finance results first and people second. But we have to make it backwards. Think about your people first, because they will bring you the finance results. You can start developing a program to evaluate, develop and keep your talent.

​Sure you have a mission, a strategy, a plan and financial goals. Have you got a plan to assess, develop and keep the people of your company?

bottom of page