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Five Reasons Why the Talent Leaves

Jeevan Sivasubramaniam Posted by Jeevan Sivasubramaniam, Managing Director, Editorial, Berrett-Koehler Publishers Inc.



Five Reasons Why the Talent Leaves

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Wendy Axelrod and Jeannie Coyle's new book explores how talent development can best be facilitated by the managers the talents work with every day. Developing talent is important, especially since simply retaining talent is enough of a challenge. Every day, organizations lose their highest-potential employees to things that could have been avoided. Here are five of the most common avoidable reasons why the talent leaves:

1. Ineffective Ways of Giving Feedback and Measuring Performance. This is not about the contents of the feedback but the way in which the feedback is communicated. Many companies do not do a very effective job at giving feedback and even a positive interaction can leave the talent irritated. Feedback is usually non-existent or "breezed through" hurriedly giving the impression to the employee that the company doesn't really value them.

2. Wandering Priorities. Most companies are great at setting up a strategic directive but lousy at sticking with it. The talent then ends up giving his or her all to something that has -- since being assigned -- become a lower-level priority for the organization (but no one told the talent that). That kind of frustration and feeling of disrespect will have'em heading for the door.

3. Not Keeping Other Talents in the Organization. Top talent often measures itself against others, so when a talented individual is in a group with other talented individuals, it creates an energetic and fulfilling working environment. However, pairing top talent with moderate to weak performers not only slows down the talent but makes him or her question their value to the organization and how much growing and learning can be done within that particular workplace.

4. Corporate Bureaucracy. Often cited as one of the most common reasons people leave organizations, bureaucracy is tolerated by companies of all sizes and not just larger institutions. In order for talent to develop, it must be allowed to explore and expand in non-traditional ways ("freedom to grow"). If there's a strong bureaucratic vibe in the organization, the talent feels obstructed and blocked at every turn. He or she will immediately leave for another place where they have more room to move.

5. A Lack of Exciting Projects. Everyone has a small measure of work that is administrative and perhaps dull, and talented individuals don't expect each day to be a exciting challenge. But often these individuals are never given anything that challenges them and gives them an opportunity to exercise and develop their talents. Sooner or later, boredom and the inability to do anything outside of the most mundane of duties will drive the talent out.Thoughts? Responses? Ideas?