Some companies try to keep their top performers and pressure them into staying. This response can create uncomfortable social pressure and cause the employee stay for the wrong reasons.
A friend told me he’ll have conversations with his manager where, while they highly value him, will talk about, “Where should you go next?” Does it make sense for you to join a nonprofit? Start a new company? Because his manager shows genuine investment in his growth, whether it is with the org or not, he continues to stay on and want to learn from her.
Other companies, like top consulting firm the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), accept that their top performers will stay for two years, and then leave and do something else. These companies that accept the high turnover rate are building a natural forcing mechanism for sustainability. Because they know that their top performers will only be contributing for two years, they must prepare themselves for long-term sustainability by putting structures in place, like documentation and training, to enable new employees to rapidly learn and contribute to the organization.