Posted by: Bill von Achen | March 19, 2010

A Counterintuitive Strategy for Keeping Your Best Employees

The best way to keep your best employees is to make it easier for them to leave?

That’s the seemingly counterintuitive strategy discussed in an article in the Wall Street Journal. However, at its core, the approach is based on sound principles of giving your best employees every way to grow their professional talents. 

In brief, here’s the argument:

  • You want to retain your most talented employees;
  • But your most talented employees are also most likely the same employees who seek opportunities to learn new skills, take on more responsibilities, and to build their professional networks;
  • So, you improve your chances of keeping your best employees by helping them to achieve their professional development goals, even at the risk of making them more attractive to other employers.

This strategy is especially important as the economy begins to improve.  Historically, you’re most vulnerable to loosing key employees as companies start hiring again and looking for the best talent.  So keeping them professional engaged and challenged is one way to combat the allure of more money or greener pastures that a competing employer can offer.

But beyond its effectiveness as a retention strategy, supporting the professional development efforts of your employees is good business for you as well.  That’s because success in business largely depend on your ability to take advantage of the talents of others.  And how better to exploit those talents than by giving people the opportunity to grow?

You can view the complete article as it appeared in the Wall Street Journal
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203946904574302011865406286.html.  For more articles and resources on employee motivation, go to our Resources page.

So what strategies are you using to keep your best employees?  Share your thoughts by commenting on this post.


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