In my over ten years as a developer, I’ve worked at over a half-dozen companies—some of them I’ve even quit before being laid-off. In the ones that I have quit I’ve noticed what could be termed as “employee rot” (or “Dead Sea Effect”). Smart employees come and go but it’s the not-so-smart ones who stay and rot the organization from the inside.
In this spot-on article, Alex Papadimoulis touches on my above observation but takes it much further. His claim is that yes, smart people come and go, but the trick is not to fool oneself into thinking the company will retain them forever; they will eventually leave when it’s “their time.” It’s better to accept this fact and use it to build better organizations and people. Embrace quitting. Encourage employees to structure and document their work so their successor can benefit. Nurture your employees so when they become alumni they will recommend yours as a good company for which to work. Beware of employees who have overstayed their welcome.