It seems more than slightly counterintuitive: One of the best ways to attract and keep talent is to tell them when it's time to leave your team. But you owe it to your staff to let them know you're interested in their long-term success, says Stoll, even if that means eventually losing a star employee.
"You need to have honest conversations with your employees and ask them, 'So, when are you ready to leave my team?'" he says. "It's a conversation that says, 'I'm committed to your long-term success. Right now, that may mean finding you another role here.' These people are likely to be some of your star performers. It's tough, but helping them move onward and upward is the right thing."
New hires are discouraged from thinking about pursuing a long-term career at The Rich Dad Co., adds LeCount. "In fact most of our employees run their own companies on the side -- it's something we encourage," he says. "We want them to learn on the job, then take what they learn to go out on their own. We're in the business of teaching entrepreneurship, and we want our employees to embody that."
Managers need to resist the Dilbert Principle, says Stoll; they can't assume they can hold on to their best employees indefinitely because they believe geeks don't care about career advancement.
"You can't hoard talented engineers forever, but you can keep your best people longer if you take a personal interest in their careers," he says. "It's more than discovering people's hidden talents. It's the notion that really getting to know people helps you fit them into the bigger picture."
Related articles at InfoWorld.com:
- Have an on-the job IT war story? Send it in. And you'll get a $50 American Express gift cheque if we publish it on our Off the Record blog -- anonymously, of course.
- 8 biggest myths about managing geeks
- The 9 most endangered species of IT
- 5 dysfunctional IT relationships -- and how to repair them
- Dirty IT jobs: Grime and punishment
- Stupid user tricks 6: IT idiocy loves company
- IT inferno: The nine circles of IT hell
- IT personality types: 8 profiles in geekdom
- Jackass IT: Stunts, idiocy, and hero hacks
- 10 hard truths IT must learn to accept
- 20 IT gotchas: How to avoid these common big blunders
- 12 "best practices" IT should avoid at all costs
- True tech confessions: Sinners and winners
- 7 IT superheroes -- and their fatal flaws
- A-Teams of IT: How to build your crack strike force
- 12 effective habits of indispensable IT pros
- IT turf wars: The most common feuds in tech
- IT admins gone wild: 5 rogues to watch out for
This story, "7 paths to spotting and spurring hidden IT talent," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Follow the latest developments in IT careers at InfoWorld.com. For the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.