"How would you handle an employee who is eager for growth, but there are no opportunities in the Co.? You have expanded their role as much as possible, given them special projects, etc., but they want more. What do you do when they have simply outgrown the company?"
Today, more and more employees are increasingly conscious of their growth and development needs, and they are more likely to move once there are no longer any growth opportunities to explore at their current place of employment.
Realistically, employers have to realize that talent will come and go, but you hope that the ones that fit your company stay longer. Partnerships come in all durations and not all are made to last. Some are meant to be lessons to learn from; others are meant to help the company evolve.
Do your best to be mindful of your employees’ growth objectives within your company, while reminding them that they are responsible for the tasks that your company requires of them. Once you have mutually realized that it's time for them to move on, acknowledge that they need to start to look elsewhere, and do what you can to support them as they explore their next options. Meanwhile, ask the employee to help you find their replacement before they move on, and have them train the replacement or other staff so that there is as little legacy lost as possible.
Talent talks. Employees who leave in a mutually respectful way and others that witness it will tell others of this experience. Your openness to their leaving, which is a natural course of events, will be one of the best ways to build a strong reputation for your company.
Most of our ex-employees still reach out to us to keep in touch. They have become stewards of our company within our industry, and they refer talent and business to us still. This is the best brand recognition you can develop.