Last month one of my clients did something that a lot of people found shocking.

No, he didn’t throw a fit in the middle of the corporate golf tournament. He didn’t give up his cell phone. He didn’t start dressing exclusively in board shorts and flip flops and greeting fellow c-suite execs with “What up, bro?”


He left his plum position at a Fortune 500 company as their Chief Marketing Officer.

And his departure had absolutely nothing to do with his salary.


There were several reasons why my client left, but one of the most significant was that he felt disempowered to create the impact he really wanted to make.

And he was a c-suite executive! If he didn’t feel empowered at his level, can you imagine how the other employees below him must feel?!

Gone are the days when a company could simply increase an executive’s salary and they’d sign another contract. Employees at every level want more from their jobs and employers.

They want challenging yet motivating work; they want to understand how their work fits into big picture goals, helpful feedback, a sense of purpose. They want to feel like their input is valued.


Sadly most companies have no idea what their employees really, truly want.

If you’ve got rock stars on your team – a record-breaking salesperson, an innovative digital strategist, an industry thought leader –make sure you know what makes them happy.

And you won’t know what motivates them unless you ask.

You can’t retain your top talent unless you know what motivates them. 

How are they feeling about the contributions they’ve made over the last six months? Do they feel valued? Is their work engaging? Where are their biggest frustrations?

When you can answer these questions, you can remain engaged with your team over the course of the business year. You won’t be blindsided by two-week notices from high performers you “thought” were happy.

In fact, I suggest we all borrow a page from Beverly Kaye’s book and institute yearly  “stay interviews” for your top performers.  Instead of exit interviews why don’t we do stay interviews?  If you’re waiting to pinpoint problems until the exit interview, you’re obviously too late!  Find out what’s keeping your stars around and what could have them potentially leave.


Want to know what types of questions you should be asking in a ‘stay interview’ to get the real scoop?

Email me at for a tool I developed based on Kaye’s concept to keep your best talent – your best talent.