First to Leave? Your Best Employees

Posted on: January 22nd, 2014

Given the ever-changing factors in today’s pool of available engaged talent, managing human inventory is every bit as important – if not more – than managing product inventory. Why? Because in reality, people are companies and companies are its people.

Today, businesses have more difficulty finding and retaining productive workers than they do finding and building loyal customers. Even the best employees can become disillusioned and disengaged when they’re not treated as individual adults who are striving to become more than interchangeable cogs in the corporate machinery. In fact, your very best employees will be the first to leave if their needs and desires are not met.

Pay attention to your best employees. These are the people managers inadvertently ignore because they’re busy focusing on problem employees. Consider the advantages of improving a top-performer’s productivity by just 10%, rather than improving the performance of a mediocre worker by 10%. Keep in mind that the best employees are always the first to leave.

React to poor performers quickly. Your employees know before you do who is slacking off on the job and not contributing. Make it easy for caring workers to come to you with concerns about a fellow employee’s work habits. Emphasize that these conversations are confidential, but also indicate that you want specific examples – not random observations. Then, act on this information!

Disengagement occurs in stages. By the time an employee becomes “actively disengaged” it’s usually too late for intervention. By now the employee has become disruptive, unproductive, and has infected others in negative ways. It would be an impossible feat for him or her to retract everything she’s complained about and now adopt a positive attitude.

Important Note: Your good people are always the first to leave. They’re the ones with the most confidence and a proven track record. They know they’re talented and that their odds of getting a new job are very good. They also will not put up with someone else taking the joy out of their workday. In today’s world, people follow the natural leader, regardless of official job title.

Are you trying to deal with disengaged co-workers or employees?

Posted In: Employee Motivation

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