We have all known for years that turnover is costly. We also know that losing your more talented individuals, especially to the competition, can be a big blow to your workforce and how tough it is to replace those individuals. So why do so many companies still let this happen?
Talented individuals for the most part are happy, engaged workers that “get it” and strive every day to make an impact. Most talented employees enjoy their profession and find ways to improve functions of the workplace, quality of the product or service, or any number of impactful solutions that promote the company. So why would this individual decide to find a new job out of the blue? And without any warning! Talented individuals will leave an organization for another for many different reasons, some which you have no control over. Fortunately you do have control over many others which can be easily avoided.
A very common mistake many supervisors make is to work the talent and let the others just get by. We have all seen this before. Many workers are at the job from 9 to 5 just going through the motions or at least maintaining a work pace throughout the day, just not during lunch or “break” time. As the work load accumulates, supervisors turn to the work horse and ask if they would mind “helping out” a little. Before you know it, your talent is carrying the weight of others and juggling more than their fair share. Meanwhile the break room is full of laughter.
Another easily avoidable problem is the restricting or controlling manager. Some managers do not allow the talented individual to grow and take on new responsibilities. Some managers feel intimidated by superstars for fear of losing his or her job to this individual. Unfortunately, growth and advancement opportunities are often brushed aside and kept quiet, stifling the individual’s abilities and damaging the long-term success of the company.
Believe it or not, there are still managers out there in this day and age that rule with the iron fist. Not as many, thank goodness, but there are still plenty of these types in the workforce. “My way or the highway” will not work for any talented individual under any circumstance. It is unfortunate that many employees will endure this type of culture everyday but a talented individual’s make up will not allow for this work environment to exist. I have always preached to keep an eye on any department that seems to have trouble keeping a talented individual on board.
Organizations which lack leadership seem to have trouble retaining talent. Every talented individual that I know has a tough time following a leader in which they don’t believe. Poor leadership takes many forms: lack of knowledge or experience, lack of enthusiasm, lack of people skills, lack of care and even lack of authority or discipline. Talented individuals need supervisors ready to jump in and work with a positive attitude and enthusiasm for the job. Great supervisors need to know the job and industry well in order to get the most from a star performer.
There are certainly more reason why talented individuals leave your workforce and maybe I will end up writing a “round 2” of examples, but these four reasons seem to be the most common and easiest to avoid. With some monitoring of turnover in departments, 360 degree surveys and maybe some investigative work you can find out where you are losing talent and then take action to correct it. Today’s market is so competitive. Once you have star individuals on your workforce maximize their talents to the fullest by keeping them engaged and happy. For the love of Pete, don’t watch them walk out the door due to lack of leadership or crummy management!