Smart Management To Avoid Losing Your Best People

By Martin Haworth
Martin Haworth

It takes time to build a great team. Managers sweat on this a lot, recognizing that the qualities of the people who they work closely with, will dictate their success – or otherwise.

When we get great people, we need to put the effort in to keep hold of them. So often, the hard work we put in to develop someone; the time and energy (not to mention focused attention to detail) we expend whilst recruiting; can be reduced to rubble when we don’t look after them, once we have them.

So, sometimes they go.

When they go for the right reasons – like they find a new job that lifts their career path beyond what’s available with us – we can applaud their reasons and know, just know, that we could not have done anything to prevent the loss of this valuable asset.

It was time and that time was right for them to move on. It’s a sign that we did a great job and we were able to utilize their tremendous value for the time they were with us.

This is actually a time for positive celebration, as they move on to greater things.

There’s another side to this. They sometimes leave for other reasons – and this need never happen at all.

Where managers don’t keep a close eye (and ear) that their people are being served well by the organization and feel good about the place, the gap this leaves will precipitate losses of valuable employees for the wrong reasons.

The first one to depart – without that unique opportunity in front of them – is the clue. They will provide all the information necessary to learn fast when people leave, what it is that needs to be changed by you – the manager – so that this never need happen again.

The efforts that managers and HR make to get the right people in the team can fall apart, when these valued recruits feel unloved. This ‘unloved’ can come from the most basic issues that are not dealt with for them.

Any capable manager will make sure that these basics are always covered and, by forming a close relationship and asking, they will quickly get to know when their people are feeling unhappy.

It’s way too easy to blame the individual leaving for taking that step without provocation.

The best managers use this seemingly treacherous act to learn. They recognize that losing good people, apart from when they really cannot offer what the employee needs next as they evolve their career, is always attributable to them as the manager and make no excuses.

Losing your good people for negative reasons can always be avoided, as long as managers do enough. Too often the excuse will always be that it’s the employee; the organization; the clients.

And usually it’s manageable – by a capable manager.

Martin Haworth is an experienced UK-based coach and trainer with TNM Coaching, working worldwide with enlightened organisations who see the light in leadership and management development.