When Employees Quit, Take a Good Look in the Mirror

Guest post from Jeff Hyman:


It’s hard to say goodbye. But understanding why people leave your company is a crucial part of developing a best-in-class workforce. Regardless of whether the individual is an underperformer or a Rockstar, departures frequently point to broader organizational issues that need to be addressed.

Managers often react emotionally when an employee gives notice. If the person is an up-and-comer who has been given promotions and raises, the manager likely feels angry and betrayed. If the person failed to meet expectations, the manager may feel relieved. Either way, there are lessons to be learned. And in either case, the manager may worry about the optics of the departure – both internally & outside the organization.

It’s important to recognize that attracting and retaining Rockstar performers is vital for organizations to grow, innovate, and outperform the competition. That’s not just my view. A 2016 Conference Board survey revealed that attracting and retaining talent is the number one concern amongst CEOs, regardless of their company size or industry.

Noam Wasserman, professor of clinical entrepreneurship at the University of Southern California, estimates that 65% of growth companies fail because of people problems. They either hire the wrong people, put people in the wrong roles, or fail to create an environment that inspires people and enables them to work together harmoniously.

With unemployment at the lowest levels in years and a growing shortage of highly skilled workers in many job disciplines, getting the people equation right is particularly critical. From top to bottom, employees have more options than ever before. So, companies that excel at hiring & retaining top performers have a huge advantage.

Hiring the Wrong Person

If a poorly performing employee leaves, it’s an opportune moment to examine the decision-making process that led you to hire the person in the first place and to create a new process that will prevent you from repeating the same type of error.

Here are the common mistakes that organizations make in hiring:


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