Why You Are A Stepping Stone And How To Stop Being One

Why You Are A Stepping Stone And How To Stop Being One

Except for the rare times when turnover is a good thing (you never really wanted to hire your neighbor’s kid) it’s very costly in time, money, energy, and progress. A business’ goal is to hire, invest in, develop, promote, and reap those invested benefits from its people (hello, HR).

Losing people is not easily hurdled. If this becomes a pattern, it will handicap future success as it affects areas that are fueled by longevity, including:

  • Innovation: people can contribute more once they understand, they need their feet wet before their contributions are dialed in.

  • Depth: as you are trying to create leadership depth, this remains under-developed as people continuously move on. The next in line may not be ready for that level of responsibility.

  • Cohesion: even the most well-oiled machines kink up when a new personality comes aboard. Part of retention is from the bond amongst one another and the norms established within that group.

When you are constantly hiring and training you fall into a painful and stagnant state.

2 reasons for leaving that are reversible

  • Boredom: their day has become glazed over by routine, every part of their work has become stale (boredom is a slippery slope). They do not see any spark of spontaneity, challenge, or change. While humans are responsible for their own attitude, it is in your best interest to establish whether or not they are salvageable.

  • No Hope/No Opportunity: their career path is non-existent, they do not see any value in continuing to spend time with you. This stems from boredom, but it’s worse. They have no sense of purpose towards the work and have lost any hope that opportunity or growth is ever going to be available.

Why it got to this point:

Lack of Intimate Knowledge: Awareness is seeing what makes someone happy, recognizing these as signs of joy…people will stay for joy. Awareness is also recognizing when they are struggling.

Having conversations on a regular basis is a must to acknowledge the value that person brings, their individual path, what they would like to learn, and how their skills can be cultivated going forward. It provides certainty. Certainty is a big deal. With it, people can dig in and know it is safe to give their best selves.

Certainty also allows for two things:

  1. They feel seen: you care enough to ask. 'I am here to listen’ is a powerful message.

  2. Opportunity = Hope: knowing where they are is not where they will stay. When we have say in our future, we feel satisfied. In control. Not at the mercy of life. In our minds, future then equates to possibility. That’s exciting.

Combatting Turnover: 

Break the routine: There are many ways to do this such as cross training, establishing stretch goals, etc. I read recently, I think it was Google, has a ‘fun project list’ that anyone can hop in on to take a break from the everyday. They experience a change while getting necessary work done. We know part of the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, enough said.

Provide Opportunity for Ownership with these 3 questions:

  1. What do they love to do? Let them do what they love to do!

  2. What is their biggest challenge? Pent up frustration will hinder performance and just suck the life out of everything. Be in tune with the realities they are dealing with.

  3. .What 3 things would they like to see be implemented or be different? Involve them. They may surprise you with super simple requests or you may avoid a crisis because of their amazing insight.

Pro Tip: Involve them in the next steps. It’s further proof you mean business and fuels ownership.

If turnover is continuous and we never question it, we never make that leap from good to great. And I know you are meant to be great.