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3 Ways to Replicate Google’s Amazing Employee Retention

PeakEmployee and Google Management Effectiveness Tracking A friend of mine that is now an Ex-Googler mentioned to me that during employee orientation one of the HR folks said that “we know when you will quit before you do.”  My friend said that it seemed like no one in the audience took it very seriously at the time but it’s an interesting look into the mind of what begins to happen when large orgs take not only quantitative but also qualitative data into consideration. We’re not simply talking about HR Analytics and your Annual Survey anymore.  We’re talking about a holistic approach to analytics, benefits, and retention.

In a recent Huffington Post article the Director of People Operations, Laslo Block is quoted as saying, “For most people work sucks but it doesn’t have to.”  He goes on to talk about a number of things that Google does that any company with over 10 to 20 employees should consider.

1. 5 Months of Paid Maternity/Paternity Leave with Full Benefits.
Now before the CEOs and CFOs break out the pitchforks you have to hear Laslo out. He admits that it sounds crazy but the numbers speak for themselves.  When Google went from 12 to 20 weeks paid maternity the return rate for women more than doubled. When you compare that to the costs of recruiting and training a replacement Google just made a very smart move by doing a really wonderful thing. It’s a win-win for Google.

2. Free Food
This is a great way of letting your employees know that they are valued, but some would argue that more importantly it keeps them in the office for longer periods of time focused on their work.  It also keeps them interacting with each other on a daily basis. Steve Jobs was a big fan of having people interact with each other in the office in a non-meeting environment such as engaging people on a walk around the building or meeting someone serendipitously on a stroll to a meeting.

3. Consistent Manager Feedback
Google surveys their employees twice a year with Manager specific feedback questions.  These surveys are not used in a manager’s performance review but are simply for developmental purposes for the manager.  Google knows that People Managers play a key role in retention and listening to employees helps to gather feedback that can make for a better manager that retains more employees.

Is your company offering or considering offering any of the above benefits or tools? Is it tracking employee feedback on a consistent basis to build better managers?  If not maybe it’s time to consider a little inside the Google box thinking.

Thanks for reading,

Phil Greenwood
Founder, PeakEmployee
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PeakEmployee specializes in increasing employee retention through technology

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