A recent Gallup paper concluded: “When your best employees are not engaged, they are as likely to leave your organization as your employees who tend to have performance issues and are unhappy.”

We can all understand how your under-performers will look for opportunities elsewhere. And, honestly, you don’t worry so much about them, right?

Good riddance. They weren’t delivering that much for me anyway.

But there are some folks who perform really well for you, while not very engaged. It can look like:

  • “My boss has me turning the same crank over and over again, just because she thinks I’m good at it.”
  • “This group isn’t as exciting and challenging for me as it once was.”
  • “I’m not growing anymore.”
  • “This company has started looking like everybody else in this industry.”

What keeps your most valuable people engaged, wanting to continue contributing at top levels?

Sure, they need to be recognized and appreciated and rewarded. But it’s more nuanced than that.

They also want to be given fresh opportunities. People who are strong learners want to continue to learn.

They want to see how their important work makes a deeper contribution than making their boss happy. It’s about changing the world, however you define that.

And they want to have some measure of influence over their jobs and careers. There’s nothing more motivating than a job that you helped design yourself.Reference: Talent Walks: Why Your Best Employees Are Leaving (Gallup Workplace 2018)