10 Reasons Your Top Talent Will Leave You

A recent article from Forbes.com discussed some of the big reasons that top employees leave. Following are excerpts from the article:

Have you ever noticed leaders spend a lot of time talking about talent, only to make the same mistakes over and over again? Unexpected departures of key staff can be very costly and disruptive.

Ask any CEO if they have a process for retaining and developing talent and they’ll quickly answer in the affirmative. They immediately launch into a series of soundbites about the quality of their talent initiatives, the number of high-potentials in the nine box, blah, blah, blah. As with most things in the corporate world, there is too much process built upon theory and not nearly enough practice built on experience.

When examining the talent at any organization look at the culture, not the rhetoric – look at the results, not the commentary about potential. Despite some of the delusional perspective in the corner office, when employees are interviewed, here’s what they tell us:

  • More than 30% believe they’ll be working someplace else inside of 12 months.
  • More than 40% don’t respect the person they report to.
  • More than 50% say they have different values than their employer.
  • More than 60% don’t feel their career goals are aligned with the plans their employers have for them.
  • More than 70% don’t feel appreciated or valued by their employer.

So, for all those employers who have everything under control, you better start re-evaluating. There is an old saying that goes; “Employees don’t quit working for companies, they quit working for their bosses.” Regardless of tenure, position, title, etc., employees who voluntarily leave, generally do so out of some type of perceived disconnect with leadership.

Here’s the thing – employees who are challenged, engaged, valued, and rewarded (emotionally, intellectually & financially) rarely leave, and more importantly, they perform at very high levels. However if you miss any of these critical areas, it’s only a matter of time until they head for the elevator. Following are 10 reasons your top talent will leave you – smart leaders don’t make these mistakes:

1. You Failed To Unleash Their Passions: Smart companies align employee passions with corporate pursuits. Human nature makes it very difficult to walk away from areas of passion.

2. You Failed To Challenge Their Intellect: Smart people like to have their minds challenged.

3. You Failed To Engage Their Creativity: Great talent is wired to improve, enhance, and add value. They are built to change and innovate.Smart leaders don’t place people in boxes – they free them from boxes.

4. You Failed To Develop Their Skills: There’s always room for growth, development, and continued maturation. Develop those skills and use them!

5. You Failed To Give Them A Voice: Talented people have good thoughts, ideas, insights, and observations. Talk to and listen to them!

6. You Failed To Care: If you fail to care about people at a human or emotional level, they will eventually leave – it doesn’t matter how much you pay them.

7. You Failed to Lead: Businesses, products, projects and teams don’t fail – leaders fail.

8. You Failed To Recognize Their Contributions: The best leaders give credit where’s it due.

9. You Failed To Increase Their Responsibility: Most employees will accept increased responsibility provided there is a payoff (and it doesn’t have to be monetary).

10. You Failed To Keep Your Commitments: Promises made are worthless if not kept.

If leaders spent less time trying to retain people, and more time trying to understand them, care for them, invest in them, and lead them well, the retention thing would take care of itself. Thoughts? Are you doing anything on this list of 10 reasons your top talent will leave you?

Read the full article


photo credit: where is she going to via photopin (license)


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