*An asterisk indicates the subject of a future article.
We’ll make this short.
We wrote this article to save you from the ideas readily available on the internet. These are ideas and theories that attempt to justify lack luster recruiting or employment related consulting efforts. Put them in a fancy deck, blog, 4 color glossy or email and hey, they sound convincing at first blush. You’ve already heard the reasons accomplished employees leave:
- Limited growth at the company.
- They feel they are being underpaid.
- They are no longer challenged.
- They feel like you don’t care.
- They feel like they are not part of your evolving culture.
We are here to tell you that shallow thought and cookie cutter answers are for consultants. Not for operators like you.
Operators actually know what the real problem is. Read more if you too want to know that real problem.
Here is a Pro Hint: There is no fixing this problem.
Why we wrote this Article.
We saw this list in varied forms. Then we compared it to the responses we’d heard from accomplished employees (“MAEs”) we’d recruited away from their companies. Then we sat around a lunch table and thought about what we’d heard. Our conclusion wasn’t any of the standards listed above.
Your MAEs leave because they have reached their limits to expand their personal value within your company.
That is a good thing for your company.
Continue reading if you’d like some detail.
What MAEs wanted
What your MAEs really want is the space, freedom and trust to expand your business or a part of your business through the use of their talents. All while enjoying a fair portion of the profits earned through that successful expansion of the business they have managed or created.
Unless you are willing to give them that opportunity, they will attempt to find it elsewhere. (Most of the time they will not).
Why this is good for your company or business?
Your MAE’s always want more, and truthfully they’ve earned that opportunity. But it is rare that a company has the resources or the strategy to indulge these wants.
When MAEs reach the limits of their value points they will generally test an expansion concept with their direct report. A raise or new position will be discussed. More often than not neither will be enough. That’s when your MAE will leave. That is a good thing.
Your company has already identified its strategic leaders, and unless they fail or retire, the opportunity pyramid will remain narrow in these positions. Your company has already heard the concepts or growth strategies from your MAEs and, if these ideas were adopted, has already gained from their value.
If your company is run properly, strategically important positions only open when there is a failing strategic leader. A retirement is less likely. Further, if your Company manages its personnel properly the replacement will be from within the team.* And this is exactly why the departure of an MAE is a good thing. You are now in a position to promote a future MAE into the vacant position. Someone whose growth is in sync with your Company’s strategic direction.
When an MAE leaves, treat your departing MAE like you might were you their High School Field Hockey coach and they were leaving to play at the next level, say Division 1 on a full scholarship. Because they will find that opportunity and you can be proud of their future accomplishments. You may even take some credit for their professional development. Meanwhile you stay focused, in budget, and provide the same opportunity to create a new MAE.
One other thing
An MAE is not an innovator.* An MAE is not a risk taker. An MAE is a great employee who will inevitably reach their limit within your Company. This is a good thing to identify early both for sake of your company and for the MAE too.