The Cost of Losing a High Potential Employee


The Cost of Losing a High Potential Employee

At Volaris, it is our mission to put our people first, since it’s great people that make an organization thrive – not its products or technology. But even though we do our best to nurture and retain high performers, sometimes they leave the organization. When that situation happens, the company incurs more than just the financial cost of replacing that employee. There are also soft costs which can be a detriment to the organization.

Lowered Productivity

With that high potential employee gone, someone has to now pick up the slack until a replacement is found. Other team members then have to take on additional duties on top of their heavy workload. This scatters the team members’ focus and may cause burnout from the extra work.

Lost Knowledge

Part of what made that employee so good at their job was the unique skills and knowledge that they brought to their position. Also, during the tenure at the company they developed relationships with customers. The insight that they gathered from those relationships was extremely beneficial to the company. Once that employee leaves, so does that knowledge.

Impact on Culture

When a high performer leaves, other employees start to wonder why the person would leave the organization and how the organization would let them get away. They then start to doubt their own place within the organization and whether the company is a right fit for them. This downward spiral affects the dynamics of the team and the culture of the company as a whole. It is vital that when this happens, senior leaders step in before the culture completely breaks down.

The Solution

Attrition will happen – it’s a natural part of business. But we want to keep those high potential employees and develop that talent. If you start to find that many of your stars are leaving, it’s time to analyze why.

  • Do the employees have enough autonomy?
  • Are they being paid enough?
  • Are they getting enough coaching and mentoring?
  • Is there a development plan in place for the employee?
  • If so, does the employee know about this plan?
  • How are our managers treating their teams?
  • Is the company culture allowing our employees to thrive?

These are all great questions to start your analysis. Sometimes employees leave because an opportunity arises that is too good to pass up. But that isn’t always the case so figuring out why employees leave is critical. 


About the Author

Mark Miller

Mark Miller's avatar

Mark Miller is the Global CEO of Volaris Group and Trapeze Group. In addition, Mark is the COO at Constellation Software – Volaris Group’s parent company. He began his career as a software developer and it was during that time that he cofounded Trapeze Group in 1995. Mark has a passion for software technology and building innovative businesses that last forever. His goal is to help intrapreneurs and entrepreneurs surround themselves with a great team so that they can be leaders in their industries.

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