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Employee Retention – Lessons From Google

To thrive and prosper in the competitive age, leading companies like Google, Amazon, Uber, and Apple focus on building strong teams consisting of the best talent. They know that every new employee can either slow or accelerate the growth of their company.

The tech giant has become synonymous with innovation, while also being revered for its unique work culture and human resources policies. It has been named the No.1 “Best Company to Work for” by both Fortune Magazine and the Great Place to Work Institute several times.

Google attracts and retains top talent in all areas from IT to marketing, sales, sustainable development, engineering and more. It is this ability to hire and retain the best talent that accounts for Google’s continued success.

So what can we learn about employee retention from Google?

It’s All About Data

This comes as no surprise that most decisions within Google, including HR decisions, are based on data. Google uses people analytics to navigate most of their people management practices. Nothing is done solely on gut feeling, or in accordance with outdated HR policies from the 80s or 90s which still plague many companies to this day. Instead, data informs all of their decisions. From improving employee retention, workplace collaboration and diversity, to utilizing algorithms to forecast the probability of success of prospective candidates, Google has reaped the benefits of employing a scientific approach to its hiring processes.

Putting the Health and Happiness of Employees First

Google’s mission is to make life easier/better for its employees. The company wants its employees to focus on what they love both inside and outside of work. By putting the health and happiness of its employees first, Google employees are happy and content, and better able to produce the stellar results that continually propel the company to even greater heights.

Even if you’re not a tech giant like Google, you might consider implementing some of its strategies:

  • Compensation packages that reward strong performers
  • On-the-job learning
  • Training sessions from experienced managers
  • Inspirational talks from respected professionals
  • Healthy meal options

Management Style

The driving force behind Google’s management style is driven by research and, of course, data. The company assesses its managers on a regular basis to determine the need for additional training and coaching. Due to its own research in this area, Google has identified 8 traits of highly effective managers:

  1. Be a good coach
  2. Empower your team and don’t micromanage
  3. Express interest in team members’ success and personal well-being
  4. Don’t be a sissy: Be productive and results-oriented
  5. Be a good communicator and listen to your team
  6. Help your employees with career development
  7. Have a clear vision and strategy for the team
  8. Have key technical skills so you can help advise the team

While most companies may not have the same resources available to them as Google, there are valuable lessons to be learned. Perhaps the most important piece of advice would be to follow the data and take care of your people. Happier employees are more likely to go above and beyond, and do the best for their employer if they feel valued and appreciated.

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