Andréa Novais

Andréa Novais

The Brazil Business


Staff Turnover in Brazil

Andréa Novais

Andréa Novais

The Brazil Business


Staff turnover is always a delicate subject as it is directly related to the operation of any organization. This article will give you an overview of the current situation in Brazil and point out the reasons that have led to it.

Understanding the Problem

There used to be a time when working at the same company for as long as possible was in the plans of many Brazilians who dreamed with economic stability. As economy grows stronger, job generation has increased and the major concern is no longer to work at the same company for as long as you may, but to make as much money as you can.

It is needless to say that staff turnover brings loss of intelectual capital and generates costs related to the hiring of new professionals and in the meantime, it overloads the remaining employees and slows down the workflow. In Brazil, if you fire your employee under normal circumstances, he must be advised one month in advance or you must pay him the equivalent of a month of work. The employee, on the other hand, can simply walk in and say that from now on, he is no longer working for you.

The roots of this mentality are cultural and involve the general idea that in Brazil a successful career is directly related to how much money you make. Of course, money is important, but the problem is that working is seen as a mere obligation and not as an enterprise. Many employees are hired to a job that they do not really understand, they are only part of a process whose result is unknown, they have no access to the result of their production.

Such environment leads to a constant pursuit for better salaries that results on frequent change of jobs (it is normal to stay in a job for three months) and sometimes the reason why these people are changing jobs is the addition of BRL 50,00 to their monthly income. Such practice brings several problems to the employer and it also complicates the establishment of a career.

Why are They Leaving?

Whenever an employee quits, it is common to believe that the reason why is a better salary, but that is not the only one. As job offer grows, people are able to consider other aspects of professional life, specially those related to quality of life and conciliation between work and a college degree.

According to a research made by the Business School São Paulo, these are the main reasons why Brazilians are leaving their jobs:

  • No perspective of professional growth (31%)
  • Problematic hierarchical relations (26%)
  • Lack of incentives and benefits (17%)
  • Lack of alternatives that promote a balance between personal and professional life (15%)
  • Contract non-compliance (5%)
  • Overwork (5%)
  • Plans of establishing their own business (1,5%)

As we can see, better salaries and benefits (such as healthcare, daycare assistance and scholarships to name a few) have their share, but the main reason is the perspective of professional growth, followed by problematic hierarchical relations.

Many occupations do not offer the possibility of becoming a career. This is even more obvious when it comes to the operational level. A telemarketing operator, for example, when choosing to stay with the company, will spend several years doing the exact same thing and even if he goes to school and gets a higher education degree, in most cases everything he can expect when opting for that company is to become a supervisor.

The marketing is now dealing with a generation that expects meteoric careers as they are willing to try many different ones. This generation will keep their jobs while they feel that there is something promising there for them. As soon as they realize that their position is not going to change (or at least not as fast as they wanted it to), they will start looking for a place where these opportunities would be given to them.

How to Avoid Turnovers

Increasing salaries has always been a good measure to avoid turnovers, but it may not work in some cases. A salary increase will not solve the problem of an employee who is leaving due to a problem with his boss or because he has found it very hard to conciliate work with college.

Turnovers are, to a certain extent, a healthy and natural process as it brings in new ideas and experiences to the company. However, if that particular employee is important to you and you do want to keep him, then do not be afraid of asking him why is he leaving before assuming that money would solve the problem.

Some specialists believe that turnovers can be avoided right at the moment you are recruiting workforce. It is important to have a clear conversation with the applicant and let him aware of all the values, practices and policies of the company and verify what is his real opinion about it. This way, both you and your employee will avoid unpleasant surprises in the future

Another practice that has had positive results is the offer of benefits. Scholarships have been the most successful way to avoid turnovers and have a positive side to both sides: the employee gets a higher education degree and the employer gets a better qualified professional. The problem with this practice is that there is no guarantee that your employee will stay with you when his graduation is over or that you will have the proper spot for him.

In Brazil, these are the most common benefits:

  • Healthcare
  • Scholarship (full or partial)
  • Daycare assistance
  • Profit sharing
  • Life insurance

Besides the benefits, another crucial point is to provide a pleasant working environment and to appreciate the work of your employees. As mentioned previously, the relationship between boss and team is responsible for 26% of the turnover, so it is important to make sure that this relationship is established as healthy and respectful as possible.

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