It may surprise you that employee retention has nothing to do with Google’s many perks.
In today’s service economy, your employees are likely your most valuable asset, and employee turnover can cost you. And recruiting, hiring and onboarding aren’t the only things that get expensive when you lose an employee. It takes on average, 1-2 years for an employee to reach the productivity of an existing person, and other employees might disengage when they see high turnover. Reduced productivity and engagement can lead to customer dissatisfaction. And the cycle continues.
Google’s Senior VP of People Operations, Laszlo Bock, revealed the secret to retaining his company’s top employees. You’d be surprised that it has nothing to do with Google’s many perks--like the endless supply of gourmet food or free rides to work. Instead, it goes deeper. Here are the two things that Block says matter most to employees and get them to stay at Google:
- Quality Coworkers
Your top employees must feel that they are working with other highly motivated, talented people. If they feel like one in a million, they can feel responsible for the success of their team and this can lead to burn out. This is why hiring is so important. You don’t want one talented person, but a whole team of them—teaching, learning and collaborating together. During the hiring process at Google, all candidates are thoroughly reviewed by potential managers, colleagues, a hiring committee and the CEO.
- Meaningful Work
People want to feel like their work is making a difference. They want to see the effect their work has on the success of the company; they don’t want to feel like what they are doing is a waste of time. Plus, giving employees a sense of purpose has benefits beyond retention. One study showed that employees who could connect their jobs to something meaningful were five times more productive!
Interestingly, the over-the-top perks for which Google is known are nice additions but ultimately not game-changers when it comes to employee retention. At the end of the day, it’s all about the people they work with and the work they preform.