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Let's Be Realistic

At the beginning of their next meeting, Greg announced that no employee had left Admiral in ninety days, marking an all-time company record.

“Well, I think it's time for some people to leave,” said Simon.

“Excuse me?” Greg replied in shock.

“I think some people need to move on from Admiral,” Simon repeated.

“What are you talking about?” Greg asked, clearly a little bit agitated.

“Nobody wants to clean offices and toilets forever. Some of these people have been working hard taking different courses, some of them are even taking college classes. If they can't move up in the organization, we should help them move on to another place where they can continue to advance and fulfill their dreams,” Simon said, explaining himself.

“Are you crazy? First we're trying to keep them and now we're trying to help them leave?” Greg argued.

“He could be right,” Peter interjected. “If we don't, they'll begin to disengage and before too long we'll have all the same problems we used to have…underperformance, lateness, sick days, laziness, turnover.”

“Peter's right,” said Simon now. “We can't hold them back. Some turnover is good. Zero turnover isn't healthy. If we elevate them and help them achieve their dreams, some of them are naturally going to outgrow us…”

“Hold on,” Greg interrupted. “Even if I did agree to this madness, how would you make it happen? You can't just throw these people out and say, 'Sorry, you outgrew us.'”

“No, it wouldn't be like that at all,” Simon explained. “What we need is another Dream Manager, a different kind of Dream Manager, with a background in recruitment or placement. This Dream Manager would be in charge of finding our employees positions outside of Admiral if and when they outgrow us.”

“You mean like an internal placement agency?” asked Greg.

“Exactly.”

“You're crazy. You are absolutely nuts. Our objective here was to get people to stay. Now you want me to facilitate their departure?”

“Yes,” Simon said, a little sheepishly.

“Let me make sure I've got this right,” Greg said. “You want me to hire someone to get our employees jobs elsewhere.”

“It's good for our business, Greg,” Simon pleaded. “This may be perceived as a step beyond self-interest, but it isn't. This is what's best for the business.”

Greg just glared, and Simon continued.

“This will win the respect of your employees on a level that most employers would never even dare to dream of. People will see Admiral as a place where dreams can be accomplished, a place where they won't get stuck forever. People who want to achieve their dreams will want to come and work here. So we will keep attracting the right type of people. People who are hungry and willing to work hard to achieve their dreams.”

“All right, all right,” Greg said, as if it was all too painful to hear. “I know you're right. It's just that we've worked so hard to build a team here, and these people feel like family now.”

“And they are like family, but sometimes you have to let go,” Simon concluded.

The team came to a consensus and arrangements were made to find a new member for the Dream Manager team. This person would help Admiral's best and brightest employees broaden their horizons and go off in pursuit of their dreams.

Simon had managed to convince Greg and the others that turnover wasn't always a bad thing. Some people needed to be encouraged to move on because they were toxic and poisonous to the team. Some simply were not a good fit. But others needed to be encouraged to move on because they simply outgrew the organization.

Zero turnover should never be the goal.

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