Some days while sitting behind a desk my shoulders tense up and I think, “Man, if I worked at Google where they have in-house masseuses, this wouldn’t be an issue,”and for a few moments I consider going back to school to get a degree in computer science so I can get hired at a top tech company and finally get the knots worked out of my back.
And a precious, potentially productive moment is forever gone.
These large tech-companies have amazingly groomed their work environments to look as much like a spa as an office. Companies like Google, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn have onsite yoga classes, gyms, gourmet chefs, and laundry services. Maybe it’s a ruse so their employees will think every day is a vacation day. Oh but wait—Twitter and Tagged hand out vacation days like free candy at a parade. So then what? Has Facebook crafted a master plan to lure its employees into its walls forever and ever, to eventually become the Oompa-Loompas behind the most delectable of social medias?—That would explain the free childcare.
If the goal of these perks is employee retention, then maybe a Facebook factory conspiracy is a bit far-fetched (for all we know Willy Wonka may have had amazing employee retention). Unfortunately for us small to mid-scale commoners, the luxuries afforded by companies wealthier than countries remain outside of our grasp. How then shall we cope? With standards so high, no one will want to stay working with our companies!
Before you go cry in the bathroom, keep reading.
To keep your employees on hand, you could pull an Apple and make a hiring pact with your biggest business competitors, agreeing that you won’t snatch each other’s top talent from each other.
Or you could also follow the “Rules of the Garage” created by the founders of HP. The rules formulated a work culture with creative trust for its employees, rather than the typical business bureaucracy and hierarchy. While such guidelines are great, many companies with less than stellar retention rates also live by this book. Google, for instance, is ranked as having the fourth lowest employee retention in the nation.
A better option might be a set of three solutions Blogging4jobs gives to keep employees happy. The first is to treat your employees well, by which they mean pay them what they’re worth. The second, if an employee model doesn’t work for you, then hire free agents and contract workers. The third, invest in your employees by providing training. These rules are well worth any employers time, not just for retention, but also for good businesses practices.
We want to add a couple HR practices to the mix that worked for us. The two halves of our team (India and U.S.) frequently do service projects in our communities—sometimes separately, sometimes together. Serving gives us a sense of togetherness, molding a true work-family bond that makes amazing office morale. By serving at places like the Agape Rehabilitation Center, Little Hearts, and our medical camp outreach, we become a family in the context of a larger community. We gain a greater sense of vision. As a family, we can approach each other comfortably, whether a developer or manager. Typically developers—especially offshore developers—are only given the next week’s task, but not the bigger picture of things. Our developers are in touch with higher up managers, and receive a greater sense of the vision of the company.
If you aren’t providing spa services to your employees, maybe do them one better. Treat them as a family, hand have them stick around for a while.
Or have one of them give you a back rub. Whatever works.