Managing for Creativity in Japan Talking with Foreign Executives in Japan

Employee Turnover

“The stability of the relationships is a really good thing. If you have worked with someone for a long time it does make your work with them more efficient. You don’t have to discover how they work and you don’t have to train them. It’s terribly time consuming when you’ve got someone new and turnover is one of the hidden costs of a company. The company I worked for was a big international company (not so much in Japan) there was huge turnover. The whole staff would turn over (except for a few people at the top who were probably incentivised to stay). I don’t understand how you can maintain decent relationships with your clients in such a situation. When people leave a whole lot of knowledge disappears with them and that’s a real hidden cost. It’s a gross inefficiency having a lot of turnover but the upside of that is that you can get new people and new ideas into the company. Also, while having the stability that comes with low turnover is a good thing there will always be people that you would like to get rid of and there is a very strong bias against getting rid of people here.”

This post is part of a series of excerpts from interviews with foreign executives in Japan, focusing on creativity. Excerpts have been edited for confidentiality.
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