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I would take this one step further. Not only do you want to give them reasons to stay vs. not give them reasons to leave - why not approach it as "what is the best thing for this person period."

I've had conversations with employees where I've said - go get another job - you'll never hit your potential here. As managers, we should be looking out for our employees as if they were our kids.

The idea that a company should "hold onto" employees smacks of control and frankly indentured servitude. Approach is as a caring, interested person. That way those that want to stay and can fulfill their inner needs - and perform will stay. Those that can't will go - and maybe recommend your company to a client or some other employee looking for a place to land.

I'm a big believer in approaching all of this employee stuff from a parental standpoint. Not in the way that employees are children but in the way that most parents only want their kids to be happy and reach their potential where ever they find it.

Thank you, Paul, for this great addition to the discussion. I completely agree that employees will and should do what's best for them. And employers that help them do this will probably retain good people longer. The goal is not to keep people forever, the goal is to maximize their potential while you have them and not lose them before their time. I like the parental analogy as well, although it opens up another discussion about whether the goal of an organization is really the 'happiness' of its employees.

Anyway, thank you for weighing in with all these great points!!

Connected -- I liked that, Ann. It speaks more to what I like to think of as "employee engagement" -- creating an environment/culture in which employees want to engage -- want to be connected and can see themselves being connected.

Whoops, apologies, Laura. I've been commenting back and forth between the Cafe and Comp Force. Great post!

No problem Derek - I don't mind being mistaken for Ann. :-)

My theory is if companies only focus on engagement they may miss connection points, but if they do connection right, engagement will follow. Does that make sense?

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