Is Your Top Employee’s Side Project a Threat or an Opportunity?

Spectrum_notext_June-Sept_SideProjectWhen you learn that your best employee is pursuing another opportunity on the side, you may be left wondering what it truly means for their future at your organization. Unless there is a blatant conflict of interest or in violation of any company “moonlighting” policies, there is no reason to automatically assume it indicates the worst – in fact, it could actually work to your advantage. Consider these factors when determining if your top employee’s side project is a threat or an opportunity:

Possible Downsides:

They Could Be Looking to Change Jobs

When your top employee starts branching out into a side project outside of work, it could be a sign they are testing the waters for  a professional change.  They may want to become self-employed, change their line of work, or work at another organization. Alleviate your concerns by establishing a dialogue about their career goals and future at the company.

They May Not Put Forth as Much Effort

Even if your employee acts with the utmost integrity and doesn’t use company time or resources for their side project, there is a risk that their motivation and engagement could be focused on the side project instead of their current job with you. Be on the lookout for signs of decreased performance standards or a change in attitude.


It Expands Their Skill Sets

Your top employee having a side project could work to your advantage as they learn additional skills that could be applied to their work with you. Even better, they’ll be doing it on their own time, so you’ll reap the benefits without spending money on additional training.

It Improves Their Expertise

If your employee’s work ethic and performance in their side project is as good as with your company, it could position them as influential or even as a thought leader in their field. This is especially likely if their side project is related to your industry and they are using their experience with your company as a major qualification. Plus, it shows that your company employs superstars, which is great for branding.

It Teaches Time Management

Juggling a side project and a steady day job is the ultimate application of time management. They will have to learn to work more efficiently, determine priorities, keep track of deadlines, set goals, and still produce impressive results. As they improve their time management skills, it can be a positive benefit to your organization.

Find ambitious, hardworking candidates to join your team with the help of Spectrum Staffing Services. We offer a range of staffing and recruitment services, from temporary to direct placement. For over 25 years, we have been serving clients nationwide with their hiring needs.  Contact Spectrum today to learn more about our staffing and recruitment services.

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