The Real Reason you are Losing Your Best Employees and What You can do about it

[An initial note: by “employees” for this article I specifically mean in non-manual labor jobs that require some degree of independent thought. This matters for a host of reasons (mostly related to motivation and compensation). Put differently, my advice would be different when applied to manual labor jobs and/or those simply requiring someone to follow instructions.]

All of those solutions create problems of their own.

Paying your “best” more is, largely, a fool’s errand. Surrounding them with other talented people is hard because of the aforementioned tough market. Promoting them often gets them out of the place where they are most skilled and asks them to manage the lesser-talented people they were likely carrying, akin to making your star quarterback the coach in the middle of his career. And someone needs to explain to me what a culture of “winning” is before I can tell you why it makes no sense.

How can our organization best use the skills and talent of this person while she is STILL here?

Should she be training others, directly or indirectly? Should we hire people to complement her skill set? How much budget should we re-allocate from other areas to get the most out of her skill set? How will we plan for this person’s eventual departure and what will we look like after she leaves?

Professor. Lawyer. Researcher. Writer. I help people learn to run better, more sustainable businesses and be better humans. Opinions my own.

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