1. Freedom – You need to give your people the freedom to get creative, to come up with their own ideas and run with them. If someone comes to you with an idea for a business, why not ask that person to launch a start-up? Doing this will open new markets for your business and, more often than not, succeed. Your company should act as a springboard for ambitious employees, not a set of shackles.
2. Foresight – This is important in business: Don’t wait until an employee comes to you and says he’s ready to leave before you start thinking about what his goals are and what keeps him happy – this should be part of your hiring decision. Before you make a prospect a job offer, be sure to consider how his plans for his career fit with your company’s. If there’s a real mismatch, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to work together long.
3. Don’t panic – If you have a staff member who is really flourishing, he may well get to the stage where he is keen to become his own boss, and when this happens, you can’t blame anyone. As any entrepreneur will tell you, there’s nothing quite like running your own business. This is an opportunity for your company, not a setback. Bringing somebody new into the fold means that you will get a fresh perspective on your business and you’ll have the chance to add to your team’s skills and talents.
If your employee is departing, whether for a rival company or to start his own firm, the best thing you can do is to wish that person a warmhearted “good luck.” There are many paths your careers might take, and someday – who knows? – you may even decide to go into business together.