When you make hires, you do so under the belief that they’ll stick around for awhile. They’ll contribute to the culture, bring exciting new blood to the team, close deals, ship products, or write blog posts (ahem). While you want top performers to stick around for as long as possible, at a certain point you’ll need to level with the fact that most employees are not going to reach retirement still working for your company. Even when your organization has invested in talent, providing opportunities for growth and promotion, people will invariably move on. And that’s a good sign.
Do Right By Your People
It’s natural to lament the departure of key performers, but assuming they are moving on to a more challenging role with increased responsibility, you have done right by them. First, accept that your role was never going to be the individual’s last, but rather a stepping stone along the way in their long career. Now, you can focus on ensuring this stepping stone is a meaningful, positive, impactful one. When you set up your team for long term success, both your organization and the employees win. As our CEO Jon Bischke explained for the New York Times:
“What do you want to do after Entelo?” That often throws people. It’s an interesting question because it helps people take off the lens of “I want this job,” and to put on the lens of, “What do I want to do with my life? What do I want to do with my career?”
If you’re looking at what’s in their best interest, that actually helps accelerate the growth of the company, because if they’re thinking about where they want to be in five years and preparing for that, then they’re becoming better at the job that they’re doing today.
What Can I Do?
As with so many things, this begins with recruitment. Talented candidates want to develop and realize upward potential (especially those pesky millennials), and as a result this needs to be a piece of your value proposition when attracting new hires. What’s more, this has everlasting value -- free lunches go stale, company happy hours end, but personal development and experience will stay with someone their entire career.
In addition to a hire-from-within mentality, there are other ways to prove your commitment to your team’s long-term professional goals. At Entelo, we offer individuals a $1000 stipend per year, to be spent on courses, educational materials, conferences, or anything else that can help with professional development.
So you’re on board with the importance on developing talent, and that key performers taking step-up roles are a proof point for an employee-first mentality. How do you instill this mentality at your company? First, you may need some buy-in from the higher ups. You’ll want to point out that talent wants upward mobility, and without being able to promise it, you won’t be able to attract hires. Here are some resources you can share that prove the importance of development in the mind of the candidate:
- Study: U.S. Jobseekers Want Growth, Professional Development
- Tours of Duty: The New Employer-Employee Contract
- How to Keep Your Top Talent
- 5 Keys for Developing Talent in Your Organization