How to Lose Your Best People

Don’t get discouraged; losing your best people is not as hard as it sounds.  And we’re here to help!  We’ve offered a few good ideas below.  If you have others, please post a comment, and they’ll be added to the list.  Why remain in agony, when the answers are so simple.

#1: Make life easy
That’s right; lavish money, benefits, and perks on your best people.  Foosball, anyone?  They’ll relax from the high-tension goals you’ve set, and things will slowly go undone.  Small things.  Your competitors will make life hard for you, and remove your ability to compensate so graciously.  Your best people will leave as a result.  Harsh realities, but you can pull it off!

#2: Lower your expectations
Why treat your best people like slaves?  They’ve worked hard to get where they are today, and they deserve a rest.  After all, you don’t want to be known as the Pharoah’s taskmaster.  Trust me… this works.  The results will be similar to point #1.  As soon as they realize the company and project goals are negotiable, you won’t have far to go.

#3: Create a Dilbert environment
Don’t know Dilbert?  See the comic to the left, or click here to see the cartoon.  Poor Dilbert is an IT professional who faces more daily incompetence than an Oklahoma Street-sweeper.  (Get it?  Armadillos?  That was my own pitiful attempt at humor.)  🙂  Foster a certain degree of incompetence in the office, and your Dilbert will flee.

#4: Let your projects take care of themselves
They will, you know?  Project management is not a discipline, its a recreation.  Don’t track your project time.  Don’t bother with post-mortem analysis and percent complete.  If you must, use a little spreadsheet with some cool fonts and colors.  Your best people will drift along with you – until their job search pays off.

All kidding aside, people leave for a lot of reasons, and it’s not always the company’s fault.  Don’t beat yourself up too badly.  If you’re trying hard to keep good people, you’re probably doing okay.  It takes a pretty messed up organization to drive good people away.  And sometimes, even the best companies cannot keep them.  Keep up the good work, and don’t let these things happen to you.  🙂



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