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What is the secret that talented individuals know?  The secret is that management, in the way it handles matters and supports and frames the company culture, can either make or break a talented employee’s longevity with a company.  In a time when individuals know that there are other options waiting for them, company culture should dictate an environment that helps a company maintain its top talent.  Pay and benefits are great, but if an employee isn’t happy with the person he or she works for, then chances are they may end up walking.


Some managers just don’t know how to manage, plain and simple.  Even if the company culture is positive, some managers can create a sub-culture that tends to drive people away.  Ensuring managers have bought in to the culture and lead from within that ideology, particularly if it is a positive place to work is important so that the top talent wants to stay and continue to be a part of the company’s growth.   

If talent is leaving the company, it might be a good idea to inquire about the reasons.  The most common reasons that employees quit their jobs is because of managers doing things that are detrimental to morale and to the company culture.  Some of these things might include:

  • Micro-managing or the opposite, being invisible.  Employees want to know that their managers are present and accessible, but not leering over their shoulder every minute. 
  • The way promotions and personnel moves are handled.  If it appears that a manager is just promoting those he’s close too, that can be a problem.  Having a standard process in place for considering candidates for promotion can make employees feel that everyone has an even chance.
  • An inability to run meetings can also make top performers want to leave.  If employees are disinterested in coming to meetings, are asking to be excused or seem to hate team opportunities, it’s a chance to figure out what’s going on and fix it before they might get discouraged.
  • Managers placing themselves above the team can also be a problem.  One of the trends in the workplace is a more team oriented model, rather than managers lording power over their employees.  People want to feel valued, and if they feel they can be valued elsewhere, then they will go and find it.
  • Managers not presenting a solid outlook on the future.  Employees are wanting to achieve their best in a company, but they also want to know where that company is going. 

Talented individuals want to feel like they are truly valued and taken seriously in their work.  The truly talented, when treated well and immersed in a company culture that sets them up for success, will want to stay with a company.  If there’s no clear vision, or things don’t seem like they will ever go anywhere because of poor management or continual poor performance of the company to establish its long term plan, the talent will leave.

Every company wants to maintain their top talent, because they hate to lose those people to other competitors in their specific industry.  If a solid company culture is created, and management supports this culture inside and out, top talented individuals will see a place that is worthy of their time, energy and talents for years to come.