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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!