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Letting go(grow) of good employees

Good employees are hard to find so when you find the right people, you want to keep them around. But, is this really in the best interest of either party?

The short answer is no. It’s called talent hoarding, and you’re not just holding them back but are also holding back the extent to which your company can progress and grow.

What is it about good employees that make them the right fit? Their talent? Skills? Personality? Overall experience? All of the above and so much more? But, there’s growth in each of these facets, and as the employer of such employees, I want to explain what it means to let go of your best, for the best.

Developing talent does not come overnight but at a certain point, it does plateau. Despite all the work they have done to help your company reach success, the loyalty that has been instilled, and the benefits gained from both sides, you realize, eventually that there’s less room for growth.

It’s not to say that you cannot teach the necessary skills needed for further success within the company but perhaps, there’s more room to improve elsewhere. For instance, when a company grows, employees are required to step up and fulfill roles that weren’t part of their original job description. These new requirements cannot always be fulfilled, making the company susceptible to inefficiency. And, because your best employees have been around for too long, they may not be able to move out of their comfort zone, making it difficult for them to deal with a new job description. It’s also important to realize that when changes like this happen, it means that the company is also changing. Thus, the best employees you may have had was when the company was at the size of 10 people but they may not necessarily be the best when your company scales and grows to 50 or to a 100. This is why it is important to let them go or give them the opportunity to grow with the company.

This brings in another point of always encouraging your employees to be more independent. By creating this kind of work culture, you allow your employees to have the opportunity to put their skills to better use. They should feel comfortable making decisions on their own. This doesn’t mean you stop managing, but you dial it down the micromanaging.

Another point to take into consideration are those employees who feel closely associated with their position, making it harder for them to grow and progress professionally. It has its perks because you know you have a happy camper but sometimes, you need one that doesn’t mind mixing it up every now and then.

Your employee may be the best of the best, but if their unhappy, it can cause a whole lot of trouble in the office. Though, skillful and hardworking, your employees may be looking for opportunities to desert the company. They are smart and they exist, and they won’t think twice about leaving you hanging. Find out who these employees are, talk to them, and if need be, let go of them before they leave and do damage.

Ironically, figuring out when to let go your employees comes from getting to know them, professionally and personally. Most offices don’t call for this kind of interaction but if you create a workplace that allows for the openness of such conversations, you’ll know better if you should let go of them or not. It’s called making an informed decision, which obviously, you can only make if you are well-informed about your employee’s desires. And, also sometimes you need to realize that the resume doesn’t necessarily fit the person every time.

You get to know your employees by talking to them and working with them, side by side. Another way is by setting goals. Employees are more likely to say how they feel if the company is willing to do the same. Transparency about the company’s and the employee’s goals and intentions can let you know right off the bat if you’re keeping the right people in your team. This also comes in handy in getting to know their career paths so you can see whether or not what your employee wants aligns with your company needs.

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