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Waste Not Want Not

People don't quit jobs. People quit cultures and the leaders of those cultures.


It is incumbent upon leaders to show appreciation for the people who make their companies successful. Appreciation comes in various forms. You can buy someone a gift card or find out what they like and surprise them. You can reward someone with a day off, a vacation package, or dinner to their favorite restaurant. The best way to show someone you appreciate them is to use them and make them a part of the evolution of your company. People who are not given a chance to be great will leave your company and go where their greatness is desired. In other words, "people may have to go out so they can go up."


I have trained leaders who struggle with career pathing. Every organization should have a clear path employees take for promotion from entry level to executive. New employees of organizations are easily frustrated when they don't see a clear path to promotion. These employees are often stuck in a "go nowhere" position where they rot away waiting for someone to notice their skillsets and abilities. By the time their value is appreciated, they have given years to the company, and not given a chance to grow. Their gifts and skills have not been stretched so they become disillusioned and board. They have vested years into the company, acquired certain benefits, and assets. They don't want to leave, but the leadership has given them no alternative and to find fulfillment in their career, they must go.


Sitting on the potential of people is a horrible way to waste their talent. People follow the traditional route of promotion may wait until someone dies or leaves hoping they "got next." However, if the company fails to realize the talent they possess, the leadership will go outside of the company to look for its next star rather than promote from within. Leadership should never go outside of the company to look for a successor or other leadership unless that talent is clearly unavailable. Here are ways to prevent your best talent from leaving.


  1. Create a career path that tracks promotion from entry level to senior level management.

  2. Create positions of responsibility within each career path that utilize the skills, knowledge, and experience of employees.

  3. Let someone else be in charge. When it is time for your to retire or move on, leave gracefully. Let someone younger or someone with more innovation have a chance at leadership.

  4. Fast track your stars. Recognize the talent of your high performers and get them ready for greatness.

  5. Don't let the twins have their way. Envy and jealousy have no place in a company when the mission and vision are the priority. Make everyone feel like a contributor to the company success.

  6. Compensate people appropriately. Money is the motivator for many people. Give your people what they deserve and reward their value to your company.

  7. Show your appreciation. A Rolex, Maserati, trip to France are great ways to say thank you. If you don't have a budget for these items, then find out what your people like and gift it at the appropriate time.


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