I can still hear the echoes of the worst recruiting advice I ever received as we were launching our business 9 years ago. When I told seasoned leaders in our industry that we were not planning to ask our sales team to sign non-competes and non-solicits, they consistently said, “you’re gonna regret that.”Thankfully, we have embraced a different view of leadership and the results speak for themselves. With our focus on culture building and our concern for the dignity of others, we have created an employee experience that is best described by Richard Branson’s guidance to “train people well enough so that they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to.”
Preventing a former employee from working and providing for their family flies in the face of our company’s mission of helping others. We would never prevent a salesperson from finding gainful employment with another organization in our industry if they were not a good fit with us for any reason.
If you still think that employees should be retained or blocked through legal handcuffs, you are likely concerned that your clients will leave every time you lose a salesperson. The exodus of clients is a symptom of a much bigger problem that has little to do with your employees themselves. Instead of worrying about how to threaten former employees or create roadblocks as they leave, focus instead on providing a meaningful client experience that drives retention to the point where clients would rather stick with your company even when their sales rep is no longer in the picture.
Other benefits that come from our lack of non-competes and non-solicits include:
- A competitive advantage for recruiting new salespeople
- Less distractions and legal headaches for leadership
- A sense of loyalty and appreciation among our team
As I reflect on our rapid growth and our award-winning culture, I have not experienced one instance of regret when it comes to our treatment of former employees and our counter-industry approach to non-competes and non-solicits for sales people.