Our Staff Rarely Leave

Our organization has roughly 135 Full Time Employees.  They range from staff fresh out of college to a 73 year old man, “Tex” who has been on staff for over 40 years.

Any organization that has great staff wants to hold on to them.  We are no different.  However, at some point, many of our staff sense God calling them to a new place.   What then, are we to do?

We have developed a philosophy a few years ago that we have tried to maintain.  It is this:

We don’t want our staff to leave.   We want them to be launched.

There is a difference.  When staff leave, they have fulfilled their time with the organization.  They have done their job.  Their time is up.  They pack up, and move on.

However when staff are launched, we believe a few things must happen:

1. After initially being hired, they are trained well.

I hate it when we hear stories of staff joining an organization and then just trying to figure out what to do.  We have been guilty of that all too often.  Developing better training is an ongoing process.  It is dynamic.  We learn much from our mistakes.

2. They are coached along the way.

Someone once said, “sometimes you win, and sometimes you learn.”  A great quote.  We all learn a lot by cutting our teeth at doing it.  It is essential, however, that as we do, someone can coach those little tweaks in our methods, that makes us more effective.  None of us ever outgrow the need for a good coach.

3. Throughout their duration with our organization, they are able to increase their “portfolio” of skills.

To the millennials, this is highly important.  In fact, I’ve read studies that job satisfaction is tied closer to learning new skills than to the size of the salary.  Give your staff assignments that allows them to learn new things.  Routine chores in a work environment sucks the life out of people.  It is necessary for them to see how what they are doing now is preparing them for the future.

4. If someone senses God leading them away, their supervisor not only blesses their departure, but helps them find their next place.

This is where it gets weird.  Yes, at times we try to talk them “off the ledge”.  We want to keep great staff.  But why not just see our organization as the place they work now?  It is fun to have an environment when people can talk freely about where their heart is.  That freedom is attractive.  And when that time comes, it is great to help them to that next place, and then start the process again with someone new.

We aren’t always good at this, and we are learning with every employee.  As the title states, “Our staff RARELY leave.”  There are some we miss it with, but our goal is to launch them all.

What is your philosophy for your staff?  Are you holding on too tightly?  What are some other ways a staff person could be launched?


  1. meaghan August 1, 2010 at 3:47 pm #

    hey kevin! steph told me you started a blog! i’ll have to keep up with her through you ;) love the posts so far!

    • Kevin East August 1, 2010 at 8:50 pm #

      Glad to see you have found it. I hope it turns into a good resource for people….

  2. Skipper August 2, 2010 at 9:05 pm #

    WOW!!! Great stuff here… Our company was talking about this very topic last week in one of our Leadership & Management meetings. Our Company President reminded us that it is our job as leaders & managers to train and raise up every employee the best we can so that when opportunity arises, our people are ready for the challenge and/or change. “Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn.” Love that one…

    • Kevin East August 3, 2010 at 9:46 am #

      No no…you have a great line to quote here:

      “…it is our job as leaders & managers to train and raise up every employee the best we can so that when opportunity arises, our people are ready for the challenge and/or change.” I love this because we need to recognize that often times, we get the benefit of the additional tools being added to their belts. In other cases, we were faithful while we had them, and then they moved on.

      Good word.