Getting Around the Manager’s Career Roadblock

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Cerner Corporation of Kansas City created a ‘‘career navigation center’’

where employees could confidentially seek a better position if

they felt they were being stifled by the current manager. The company

also held seminars for managers to teach them about their retention

responsibilities and monitored unit turnover numbers. When

numbers got too high, managers were called in for ‘‘what’s wrong?’’

meetings.9

CEOs to issue directives to all managers that ‘‘there will be no hoarding of

talent.’’ Another way of expressing this is ‘‘the manager doesn’t own the

talent . . . the organization owns the talent.’’

Nevertheless, because some managers will always put their own selfinterest

before the interests of the organization, this will continue be an

issue. One way to address it is to specifically include wording in competency

descriptions, performance appraisals, and 360-degree feedback ratings,

such as ‘‘encourages and approves the movement of employees when

they seek professional growth opportunities that also serve the needs of the

organization.’’ Another effective way to discourage such blocking behavior

is to confront these managers with performance coaching and feedback,

and, if that does not work, to remove them from positions with responsibility

for managing people.