who moved my cheeseLosing your valuable employees to entrepreneurship can be a major blow to your organization, especially if they become your competition. Organizations can avoid this unfortunate scenario by investing in leadership team building designed for workforce development to keep your employees productive, happy and on-track to leadership roles.

According to research conducted by Jesper Sørensen, a Stanford Graduate School of Business professor, and Amanda Sharkey from the University of Chicago, Millennial employees tend to turn to entrepreneurship when they feel that they no longer have room for advancement within your organization. While these employees feel that they may be stuck in your organization, they also feel that they have limited options with other organizations as well.

“But it’s not just blocked mobility in the sense that I can’t get ahead in the firm that I’m at. It’s blocked mobility in the sense that I can’t get a job with another employer that I feel is better than my current one,” says Sørensen. “And because I feel stuck, I’m more likely to be tempted by an opportunity to start my own firm.”

This is an important distinction for employers to understand. Having employees leave because of better opportunities outside of your organization may be outside of your control, but losing employees who feel blocked within your organization may be a solvable issue. With the help of leadership team-building tactics within your organization, you may find that your employees are more satisfied with the opportunities available to them.

“The key is to recognize that this may have less to do with their desire for independence than their desire for new opportunities to get ahead,” says Sørensen. “Thinking creatively about how to provide such opportunities can help you retain your best performers.”

Employers may be surprised to learn that employees in all levels of the organization may feel blocked and unable to move up the corporate ladder. Employees who feel comfortable in their position and perform well for the organization may feel stuck in their role and unable to step outside of their comfort zone. This is harmful for both the employer and employee.



One tactic you can employ for retaining your employees is investing in a leadership team building activity such as the 6 Principles That Build High Performance Teams Leadership Clinic. This type of hands-on and interactive leadership team development clinic offers leaders a principle-based behavior approach to team development. With the principles of trust, interdependence, genuineness, empathy, risk and success (TIGERS), leaders learn strategies to measure team behavior to convert low-performing teams to effective and successful teams that work cohesively to achieve goals.

By creating an environment that values innovation and offers opportunities for advancement and growth, your employees may feel better valued and less inclined to strike out on their own. “People underestimate the extent that their success is about context; you flourish in one context and not the other,” says Sørensen.

Employers who are concerned about turnover rates and potential competition from entrepreneurs can apply tactics to keep their employees invested in their organization. Invest in leadership team building events and activities to support your employees and keep them productive and on the ladder.

Copyright TIGERS Success Series, Inc. by Dianne Crampton

appantsAbout TIGERS Success Series

TIGERS is a Bend, Oregon team building consultancy that licenses and trains HR Executives and Management Consultants to use powerful team development tools that help to transform organizations into the type of workplaces employees enjoy returning to after a couple of days off.  Join us in the TIGERS Den Membership Community to learn tips and strategies for developing problem solving teams for complex organizational problem solving and change initiatives.