How to lose your best employees!
Updated: Feb 20
You always wish to be acknowledged as a great employer/manager/leader and your company/your business unit to be a great place to work. But right now, at this very moment, one of your most valuable employees is about to quit.
They have consistently tried their best; They're highly efficient and have grown into a huge asset. But their learning has peaked, they are showing signs of stagnating, and it seems that they need a new challenge!
As their superior, you don’t want anything to change. After all, they're very productive, their work is outstanding, and they always deliver on time. You want to keep them right where they are.
That’s a great way to lose them forever!
Several of our clients have approached their boss and asked them to do something different, such as moving to another position or another project, looking for a new challenge that renews their passion, interest and motivation. Often, the answer is "But you are doing great, the company needs you right where you are!" Sooner or later such employees are led to resignation, looking elsewhere for the challenge and further development they desire!
This kind of scenario plays out in companies every day. And the cost is enormous in terms of both time and money. Even worse, if employees stay and become disengaged, the cost may be even higher. This is because lack of motivation, commitment and engagement can result in reduced productivity and efficiency.
When your employees (and maybe even you, as their manager or boss) are not provided with the opportunity to grow, they begin to feel that they don’t matter. They feel like a cog in a machine. If you don’t invest in them, they won’t invest in you, and even if they don’t walk out the door, they will mentally resign.
How can this complicated issue be effectively addressed?
The first step is recognizing that every employee, including you, is on a learning curve, which means that each position has a specific duration or life cycle. In a new job, we start from the lower end of the learning curve, facing challenges that we are called to manage effectively along the way. Gradually moving up the curve, we grow, acquire new skills and self-confidence. When we finally reach its highest point, we have achieved mastery and our contribution to the organization has increased significantly.
What happens when the pace of growth comes to a halt?
The learning curve flattens; stagnation looms while disengagement and a drop in performance are on the horizon.
Empirical estimates show that the life cycle of an employee's learning curve is about 4 years. If they continue to perform the exact same tasks, without any change, they are very likely to be overwhelmed by feelings of frustration and boredom.
Why is this happening? Because the human brain is designed to learn throughout life. While learning, we experience high levels of brain activity and many feel-good brain chemicals are produced.
So, instead of having your staff idle, motivate them! Help them learn something new, master what they have learned, move them on to another position / role / project and repeat the process when the learning cycle is complete.
Organizations are made up of people who are each at a different point in their learning curve. If every employee who reaches the top is offered the opportunity to jump to a new curve, then the company will be constantly full of people who are actively engaged.
In short, it can be tempting to keep your best employees doing exactly what they do very well for as long as it is possible, but you know that keeping those people in the same position is the best way to lose them! Ample opportunity for growth and professional development are the keys to retaining valuable employees!
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1st published in www.epixeiro.gr