Click here to preview the new Fast Company

Want to try out the new

If you’d like to return to the previous design, click the yellow button on the lower left corner.

Motivate Your Way out of Here

FC Now reader Gemma Teed emailed this morning, writing:

Some friends have been going through motivational programs with their various employers & it got me thinking...

What happens when a company's motivational program (your career is your own responsibility, its up to you to carve your path etc.) simply motivates it's employees to seek more fulfilling work elsewhere?

Is there a fine line between fulfilling your team's self-actualising needs and showing them that the grass is greener elsewhere?

Heath forwarded the question to me, asking if I wanted to take a crack at it. Happy to help!

Gemma, I work with a group of senior leaders who have exactly the same worry as yours. They have delayed funding a career and leadership development program for fear that they will simply be strengthening the resumes of their employees so they can more easily jump ship.

When I asked why people might leave once they've been strengthened on the company dime, the answers were oh-so-revealing. The truth is these leaders don't really think they work for a "preferred employer." When I asked why (again), they created a hefty list of reasons people would leave their workplace, e.g. lack of career opportunities, little mentoring, bosses who don't seem to care, no clear vision, underwater stock prices and non-competitive salaries.

Well, duh. Fix those problems. Then put your motivational/educational programs in place. You'll increase the odds of your talent sticking around and you'll no doubt increase productivity as well.

Think of it this way. If you have a great boss, fair pay, a chance to learn and grow and interesting/challenging work (top stay factors according to our research) it will take a crow-bar to get you out of there. A career class or "pump-you-up" motivational seminar will hardly send you searching for greener grass. In fact, you may think it can't get much greener than this!

Add New Comment