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From our point of view, in an employers market, high potential employees who thwart the development of their inner talents will see a very long ROI to their undergraduate studies investment (€ 24,000) (1) and experience a very intense personal dissatisfaction.

Typically, a high potential employee will either “quit or sit” when dissatisfied.

Those who sit, do not only become blockers in the organization but are costly (severance package of (€9,000) (2). For each high potential employee who does not reach the expected job position, after five years in the organization, the company could face a loss of € 200,0003.

On the other hand, those who quit not only have a severe negative impact on the morale of those who stay, but will push the company to further expenditure in replacement of € 25,0004.

It is, therefore, of paramount importance to enhance the progression and growth of these talented people. Strengthening talents through well designed business education that tap the soft and hard skills could save you € 235,000.

Research confirms that the average company loses half of its employees every four years, half its customers every five years, and half its investors in less than 12 months (1996 statistics) (5).

Experts spend years generating and using customer statistics on the value of loyal customers. For example, it costs five times as much to get a new customer than keep an old one; by increasing customer retention 5%, company profits increase 25-100%; and boosting retention by 2% is like cutting costs by 10%. Studies were published demonstrating that a bank’s 20-year customer is worth 85% more per year in profits than a 10-year customer. The same idea applies when talented employees are successfully retained.(6)

Carl Sewell, the highly successful Cadillac Dealer in Texas made famous by Tom Peters,showed that by treating customers right — treating them like family – garnered his agency $332,000 over the lifetime of that customer. That didn’t even include referrals! Other researchers found that by working with customers who had complaints, that once solved, they would purchase three times as much more.

Still, most consumer-brand companies focus on new markets and new customers. They reveled in the thrill of the hunt, not the satisfaction of the harvest. Many treated their employees in the same way.

Many of the most talented people in a firm/company resist trying new things in fear of failure and peer criticism. As human beings, we want to satisfy four key motivations: Physical or survival, emotional or belonging, mental or willingness to grow and spiritual or legacy. Meaningfulness is found, hence, through the satisfaction of all four wants within a corporation. However, some organizations only satisfy the physical wants and high calibre employees lack the chance to fulfill three fourths of their needs.

The search for meaningfulness requires people to risk, explore and make mistakes.

Unfortunately, to err is not permitted in our society. Do it once and do it right, is one of the first commands I heard when I first began working in a corporation. By this way of thinking, companies activate our psycho-physiological defense mechanism called comfort zone, which makes it difficult for us going for what we really want.

It is of utmost importance to rescue the value of positive imagination, endurance and concentrated focus in the workplace if we really want to manage effectively the rapidly changing environment.

Return Over Investment

If you invest € 23,835 or € 33 per employee per hour in (124 hours a year) you could increase by 35% the chances of having a high potential employee achieve his/hers potential in five years. (4).

Marcos Cajina

Marcos Cajina


Marcos has a compelling blend of intelligence, insight, humor, and experience that supports clients bridge the difference between understanding and doing.

He brings conceptual rigour and efficient support to the learning engagement. The focus of his work is to help leaders improve performance and well-being.

A provocateur and a challenger, clients, have multiplied their effectiveness in many different ways.