Why the big end up losing the best: Talent retention woes of big enterprises

EmploymentMore often than not, ex-employees of big enterprises like GE and Yahoo! end up setting competitor companies after years of having gained expertise at their former place of employment. So why is this trend increasingly building its pace much to the woes of these big shot companies? The answer probably is deeper than asserting the new age entrepreneurial spirit. The actual answer may lie in understanding the treatment meted out to these employees who leave to begin an enterprise of their own.

On critical assessment of the culture prevalent in almost burgeoning companies, the lack of discussion around an employee’s career development and path towards job satisfaction brings to light the plight of the dissatisfied employee spirits. Besides, half hearted attempts at career path appraisals and highly tightly administered annual reports on performance thrashes down the hopes of employees who have passionately worked in an industry they desired to make a career in. Big enterprises have standardized and distributed work process methodologies that often wreck havoc when it comes to understanding the role and evolution of interests in employees. For example, when as a fresher, an employee X was passionate about a career in marketing was employed as such tends to grow dissatisfied as time in the company goes by especially when his interests evolve into customer service or perhaps user interaction research.

Companies that fail to retain talent are usually those which fail to recognize that their workforce is a powerhouse of skills that can be leveraged for an added bonus in terms of annual revenue. Bequeath of micromanagement at every level must be advocated and exemplified by top management by allowing middle managers to make decisions for their own business units. All employees should be held accountable for their end of year targets, not just in terms of monetary gains over any specific financial quarter but also in terms of delegation. Measurement through metrics like employee satisfaction and progress of ideation within specific business units should encouraged and framework for talent retention strategy must be designed to avoid losing the employees who have the potential of starting an innovative and possibly more successful competitor firm.

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