Photo: Locusolus via Flickr
We’ve all heard the mantra do whatever it takes to hold on to talented employees, especially if your competitors are trying to lure them away. Forget about that.”Fighting to get the best talent is still important, but having the courage to let them go is also crucial because there are benefits in letting people go,” says Frédéric Godart, a Post Doctoral Fellow at the graduate business school INSEAD.
In the article, “How to make friends and gain influence … by losing employees” Godart and his colleagues use the hiring trends in the fashion industry to explain why firms should allow employees to move on to other companies, even their competitors. Here are their reasons:
1. Employees tend to stay in touch with former employers whom they are on good terms with.
Think of it as social capital. When people move to another company, they oftentimes maintain contact with their former employers, while creating new connections in the new place of employment. These contacts result in “an informal communication bridge” between the two companies and can provide opportunities to learn what is going on between competitors.
2. Departed employees can spread the source firm’s influence in the industry.
Designers join fashion houses for a while, learn how things work there and move on to work for other fashion houses while spreading the positive buzz about their prior employers. The same can be said for those who work in other industries, such as finance and tech. Former employees who share a company’s business practices may also pave the way for collaborations between firms.
3. Departures enable organizational turnover.
When employees leave, they provide room for new hires to bring their unique experiences and fresh ideas from the outside. Also, as we’ve seen with Google, ex-employees sometimes return and are able to contribute new skills that they have since picked up from other jobs.
To find out more about why you shoud let your employees leave, read the complete article here.
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