Are you unintentionally disengaging your top talent?

Posted November 17, 2009 in Latest News & Insights

I don’t think most managers like to think that they are driving their best people out the door, but when I looked at the answers posted to the following question on LinkedIn, a lot of the reason’s voiced were (what I would consider) rookie management mistakes.

The question was:  What do organizations do to disengage their top performers?

Check out the LinkedIn responses.

Interesting set of responses which really just leads me to believe that poor management is a serious epidemic!

My favourite response was the simple: “they tell them “NO””.  Sadly, that’s a situation I’ve lived, witnessed and made the mistake of doing myself.  In my experience and opinion, it’s probably the one word that contributes the most to disengagement of high performers.

What’s your opinion?  If this is a topic that you’d like to debate, why not join me at the Strategic Leadership Forum Human Capital Council event next Wednesday, November 25 at 6:30 p.m.? Visit the SLF website for more details.

Happy leading!


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  1. kim burnett says:

    I think one way in which managers unintentionally disengage employees is by only expecting creative energy from certain employees. In some work environments, certain employees are seen as the go-to creative or idea people, and are always called on to do creative, interesting things (e.g., brainstorming for retreat planning or social committee work). People like to feel engaged, useful, challenged, but only certain people are expected to challenge the status quo. And what of everyone else.

    I am by no means trying to say that everyone all the time ever will have fantastic ideas, but trying to tap into that buried creative idea potential can be one means of intentionally engaging your colleagues.

    • LeaderTalker says:

      Hi Kim… so true. There are lots of survey’s out there that have asked employees a variant on the question: “are you using your talents at work everyday” to which the overwhelming majority say that they’re not. Makes you wonder what our organizations would look like if everyone was being encouraged to contribute! Thanks for reading and thanks for the commentary. It’s a great reminder for leaders to step back and ask ourselves if we’re continually drawing from the same ‘well’ or if we’re actively looking for ways to tap into (possibly) the hidden talents of our broader team.