Talent Competition: How to keep your best people and avoid toxic workers

How to keep your best people and avoid toxic workers

We surveyed over 220 leaders of privately owned UK businesses, as well as 200 of their employees to better understand employee attrition and get a balanced view of how employers retain staff, and what really motivates them to stay.



UK Sector Head, leisure and hospitality

KPMG in the UK


Also on KPMG.com

rock climbing

KPMG’s latest quarterly survey of privately owned, middle market businesses reveals that surprisingly few companies take a systematic approach to talent retention. In fact, half don’t plan at all.

The cost of this approach is startling - by some estimates, the average expense of saying goodbye to one employee and welcoming their replacement is more than £30,000. The process of getting that new staff member up to speed takes nearly half a year.

The report found that businesses are taking too long to deal with the toxic worker, but also offers suggestions on dealing with employees that 53 percent of leaders say cost their business between £2000 and £10000 a month.

Businesses need a more structured approach to talent retention - dealing with both the good apples and the bad to get the best yield.

Key findings:

  • Employers spend £30,614 on average every time one of their employees leaves and gets replaced
  • A recognition scheme usually costs around one percent of payroll, and often pays for itself in employees motivation and engagement
  • 88 percent of business leaders have admitted they have allowed a toxic worked to stay in the business too long

Download the full report

Right to Work Check – employer obligations

Every UK employer must complete a right to work check before employment begins.

Read more

This article represents the views of the author only, and does not necessarily represent the views or professional advice of KPMG in the UK.

Connect with us


Request for proposal



KPMG’s new-look website

KPMG has launched a state of the art digital platform that enhances your experience and provides improved access to our content and our people, whatever device you are on.