Have you ever encouraged a high-performing employee to resign?

Yes, once.31%

Yes, multiple times.25%



1.4k views12 Comments

Community User in Software, 10,001+ employees
Curious what might have driven those who replied "yes" in either case?
2 Replies
COO in IT Services, 11 - 50 employees

His passion was development, that was not in our portfolio and he receive a great offer that would allow him to pursue his passion.

VP of IT in Manufacturing, Self-employed

The person was brilliant but had some very toxic traits such that the culture and team dynamics were suffering. When another external opportunity came up there was strong encouragement for them to seriously consider it.

CEO, Self-employed
The context here would be that they performed incredibly well, and were ready for the next step in their career, but I didn't have the right role for them. 
Director of Network Transformation, Self-employed
Yes, they outgrew the role and needed something bigger.  Was hard but was the right thing to do for them.  
Chief Data Officer, 2 - 10 employees
Not directly. I've had conversations about what the person wanted to do professionally and personally. And based on those responses that guided further questions that helped the person decide for themselves that a different path was the right for them.
Principal in Finance (non-banking), Self-employed
Let's not forget the issue of underemployment -- an employee who is over-qualified for their role and where there isn't upward opportunity for who they are and what they offer at that point in time. While we might like to think that exceptional employees are so highly respected that leadership will create a job just for them, that's usually not how it works. Company leadership doesn't build jobs based upon a person -- they hire people to fill the roles the company needs. If someone would be best suited personally and professionally elsewhere, they should leave and pursue other opportunities.
CSO, Self-employed
Absolutely have. The words "top performer" are subjective.  One person's TP might not be another's.

As an example, I inherited a TP when I joined a company, but he was regarded as such because he hit his quota each year with a whale of a deal. It was the one deal he chased, and 3 out of the 4 quarters he brought in relatively nothing. That's not a top performer to me, and it leaves an impossibly large amount of risk out there.

As another example, our #1 rep YoY was horrible to other women in our organization. Her territorial behavior and insecurities destroyed culture. A toxic employee is said to have 5x the negative impact to the org's revenue than what they bring in. When she threatened to quit, no one stopped her.
Director of Enablement, 501 - 1,000 employees
I had a very high-performing individual on the team, and business indicators were charting very negatively. I knew we were going to have layoffs come in the next few months, and as such I encouraged them to resign but with full transparency of what I believed was coming.

Jobs come and go, but people remember people. If I didn't encourage them, they would've been out of a job. It costs nothing to be kind.

We still meet for drinks whenever I'm in the US, and the relationship is still very strong. 
Global Chief Cybersecurity Strategist & CISO in Healthcare and Biotech, Self-employed
When someone cannot holistically be who they are and I know a company that they will thrive and grow then I always help them do that. I
VP of Sales in Software, 11 - 50 employees
yes, because i always want to do what's best for the employee. If i've seen reps hit their ceiling and they have greater potential elsewhere, I've encouraged it. If they're high performing but not loving what they're doing, I dig into what they care about most and push them in that direction. 
CSO in Services (non-Government), 2 - 10 employees
I recently talked to a frustrated high-performing seller (#2 this year in her big company) who feels disrespected and not fully appreciated. Not the first time - I've talked to other high performing folks about this. Ultimately they will leave. If you are a leader, appreciate, encourage, and coach your team members - that is part of the job!

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