Recent research by Gallop revealed that highly talented employees who are not engaged were among those who had the highest turnover in organizations surveyed — on par with low talent, disengaged employees. This piggybacks on our previous blog, Why People Quit Their Jobs.

The author noted,
“Ultimately, managers have one job: Hire the best talent and continuously engage them. Managers know who’s talented. And they know (or should know) who’s unhappy with their current situation. If they don’t meet the basic psychological needs of their most talented employees, they squander years of performance gains. At worst, they lose their talent (and whoever leaves with them) to their competitors.”

Also of interest, is the description that the cardinal sin of management is not engaging an employee who is a good fit for their role. The reasons given include:

  1. Truly talented people are rare.
  2. They are the most expensive to replace.
  3. They may take other high performers with them if they leave.
  4. They are the easiest to engage.
  5. And they are the quickest to leave if they are disengaged.

Organizations need to create an environment where employees thrive, prosper and flourish – not whither away and leave. An environment where employees perceive,

  • that they are making a meaningful contribution,
  • that their strengths and talents are being utilized,
  • that they have opportunities and challenges,
  • that they have autonomy, and
  • that they have an opportunity to master skills.

These require a positive and psychologically safe work environment, and managers with the leadership qualities to cultivate such an environment as well as to care about and enhance employee well-being.