What to do when developing your team puts retention at risk

We are a small, relatively successful culture change company working on national and international projects. We support organisations to develop self-organising learning cultures, reducing conflict and supporting collaboration, even across diverse teams.

Our people facilitate client teams to:

  • Uncover how to work at their best;
  • Co-coach one another;
  • Unpack conflict;
  • Chunk up their thinking to shared aspirations;
  • Hold one another to account;
  • Collaborate to achieve shared goals

In order to be able to do this well, our people have to have undergone this process themselves.

Clean Coaching and Systemic Modelling are excellent tools to help them to uncover what they’d really like to have happen in their own lives.

It takes around 3 to 4 years to learn how to pay such exquisite attention to ourselves and to others.

By the time our people are completely ready to work full time for our company, independent of one of the founders, they’re also ready to make other big changes in their personal and professional lives.

This often results in them choosing a path that doesn’t coincide with them working full time in the company that helped to develop them in the first place.

So what should we do?

  • Help them develop their dream but just not too far?
  • Secretly install fear and self doubt into our staff training so that they become dependent on us?
  • Only employ people who have limited or local dreams even though our clients are global corporations or world changing NGO’s?
  • Go bankrupt, emotionally and financially because every time we think we’ve got a new full time facilitator on our books they bugger off to follow their true life calling?
  • Something else that we haven’t thought of yet?

This is a live issue that we face on a yearly basis and we’ve tried various ways of responding to the situation.

The reason for this post is twofold:

  1. We’d like to know how other companies resolve this issue and see whether we can learn from them.
  2. We have a lead facilitator, who has now demonstrated all of the skills required to work independently across our range of clients, say that he’d like to stop work and sail around the world instead. We’d like to respond to this in a way that brings a ROI to the company while respecting and celebrating him achieving the freedom he needs for fulfilment.

We wrote the post to start the process.

We’re about to have a walking session applying the tools we deliver to clients to ourselves and to this bind we’re in.

We’ll explore what we’d each like to have happen.

But in the meantime we invite and welcome ideas and contributions from anyone who has developed solutions in this area.

Thank you

Caitlin Walker

Caitlin is the founding director of Training Attention and developer of Systemic Modelling. Author of From Contempt to Curiosity, she is the architect of innovative projects that transform workplaces, classrooms and communities.

Latest posts by Caitlin Walker (see all)

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Tumblr

SHARE

This Post is posted by Caitlin Walker

Caitlin is the founding director of Training Attention and developer of Systemic Modelling. Author of From Contempt to Curiosity, she is the architect of innovative projects that transform workplaces, classrooms and communities.

  1. Hi Caitlin,
    I run a recruitment company and experience this exact same phenomenon.
    Years ago a client suggested I therefore build my business around the problem, so know I constantly employ and train new recruiters, and we have an agreement upfront that they will stay for a minimum of 3 years. Part of the pact is that I give them all my knowledge in the early years (years 1 – 2) and then they coach and mentor their successor during year 3.

    Reply

Leave a reply