Why are the employees that you lose the ones that are most likely to bring about innovation?

Why are the employees that you lose the ones that are most likely to bring about innovation?

In April of 2015, Le Figaro published an Opinionway  study according to which “more than 50% of employees want to leave their company”.

That’s a number that makes you pay attention, and we wanted to look one of its underlying issues: the significant loss of value that it represents for businesses due to knowledge flight and an innovation shortfall.

At the heart of any business is its human capital. With the ruptures created by today’s technology, creating value within enterprises is strongly linked to talents and their ability to reach their full potential.

Employees who leave their company are in fact those who could most contribute to its innovation and agility.

By proposing various pathways and creating bridges between positions, a company can benefit from a fresh look at its activities and challenges, and naturally expand its rate of innovation and its agility with regard to the market.

Staff can thus become catalyzers for innovation: rather than remaining in the same positions for years, they can enrich their knowledge base and cumulative experiences, bringing those benefits to each new job that they take on.

And yet, these are the talents that companies are losing. The ones who are looking for novel careers, and who could thus strongly contribute to value creation within the business: today, almost half of the people who want to leave their company are looking for a more gratifying professional path.

What’s more, these talents have been trained by their companies, they know the culture and they’ve gained experience in their jobs. Thus their departure, in addition to a loss in terms of potential innovation, is also a flight of knowledge.

Finding a more rewarding job elsewhere: the myth of the first time

This statistic, that 21% of employees leave their companies in order to join a company that will provide them with a more gratifying career path, reveals something real: companies are more accepting of different profiles when they come from the outside, tending to hold fewer prejudices with external profiles than with internal ones during the recruiting process.

As such, according to employees, gratifying possibilities are more accessible by changing companies.

And that’s true. According to our data, with each change in company, those employees with the best careers gain an extra 18 months in terms of career evolution and have access to more varied positions.


It’s because their profiles aren’t yet attached to any reference point within their new companies.

Thus the perspective in which they are seen is, at that moment, completely new.

But once they have been integrated within the enterprise, that reference point is created and the employee will eventually be facing the same problem: it will once again become difficult to move toward a different position.

We thus find a pattern that can be reproduced ad infinitum.

To stop it, one must be able to propose the right path at the right time.

This pattern, if left unchecked, condemns talents to change companies each time that they want to see their careers evolve.

To turn this pattern into a virtuous circle that works as an innovative force for the company and engenders more loyalty in those talents, one must take certain risks.

There are two issues, both of which are at the heart of what Clustree seeks to encourage in talent management:

  • Encourage possible transversalities to create varied pathways, inspired by similar situations found in other companies and other sectors in order to reduce risk, allowing the company to retain talent.

  • Know how to identify those talents who may leave, and know what kind of change would induce them to leave the company. They must become a priority to whom the company, in order to keep them, can offer motivating options.

Without internal mobility, any hope of evolution and transversality disappears. In that case, a divide is created that is potentially irreversible, separating talent from the company.

One of the keys for innovation within an enterprise is thus the capacity of changing from constrained internal mobility to an internal mobility that serves as a value producer: finding the right pathway, at the right moment, for the right talent.