Great Employees Don’t Complain – They Walk Away


As a new manager, who comes to mind when you think of a great employee? In most cases it only takes a second or two to answer that question – you know your star performers.

Your best people constantly impress you with their work and the positive impact they have on others. Great employees are hard to find and when you have one, your world becomes a little easier because of it.

Until they up and quit.

Great employees don’t always cause a ruckus. They may speak their truth but they usually won’t languish unhappy for long – they let their feet do the talking. They know their own worth and can find another company looking for A players. 

I’ve had that happen to me. A star employee eventually quit because they weren’t getting the support they needed. My mind was in the clouds and they needed me in the weeds. That led them to undesirable behaviour, poor impressions within the company, and ultimately an employee who had enough.

What can new managers do to keep their best people?

1. Stay Engaged – keep lines of communication open with regular, consistent, weekly 1:1s.

2. Be Curious – find out what engages them by simply asking “what enables you to bring your best self to work? What drives and motivates you?” You don’t need a fancy assessment tool or report to get this critical information. Just ask.

3. Take Action – Once you know what drives your employees, create a plan and act on it. I’ve made the mistake of asking good questions but dropping the ball on follow up. Work gets busy; life happens. But its no excuse – your job as a new manager is to get results and retain/grow your people. Having an agreed-upon plan with your employees makes a difference. It’s never foolproof of course, but the odds of you being aware of potential issues and being able to solve them proactively is higher with a plan in place.

Authur Ian Daley, Director, L&D at Novo Nordisk, Host of The New Leader Podcast w/Ian Daley. The article first posted on Linkedin.


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