Retaining knowledge workers LO12236
Tue, 28 Jan 1997 09:27:24 -0500 (EST)

Replying to LO12220 --

Mark writes:

>> In my own organization, "employee-initiated departure" (charming
>> expression) has been low for a while. What causes me to toss and turn at
>> night is that it seems that the better, more employable people are the
>> ones who leave, while the rest of us slugs hang on. While I'm proud of our
>> distinguished alumni/ae who have sought their fortune elsewhere, I'd like
>> to help our training and development efforts to make us all more
>> employable. It would be interesting to see if there was then a mad rush to
>> the door or a new Golden Age.

I have noticed that in my department the very best engineers move on to
other positions (both internal and external to Novell). The people who
have been in the department for three or four years (or more) struggle
with their work. I've attributed to this a number of factors:

1- The performance metrics do not encourage excellence;
2- The low performers are coddled by management;
3- The low performers lack ambition to improve their life;
4- The high performers are ambitious, constantly looking for new challenges.

It is frustrating for someone who is an exceptional performer to get in
trouble because the person next to them complains to management about how
much "stress" it causes to work next to them. And the low performers are
easily offended by the high performers because of their feelings of
inadequacy. Thus they are much more vocal about working conditions (or
work requirements), and constantly seek to lower performance expectations.
This frustrates and annoys the high performers so they leave. Why work
where you will be punished for striving for excellence?


Benjamin B. Compton

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