The 3 most hidden secrets on how top companies attract and retain top talents.

According to a recent Monster study on employee loyalty, 82% of surveyed employees have updated their resume in the past six months. Moreover, a whopping 59% say they are looking for a job “all the time up to 50 % reports indifference or dissatisfaction on their current job.

These are all alarming facts to consider and should get the attention of managers on what people are busy with.

How do top companies like Google or Apple play that game?

First of all it is only fair to say that attracting people for these giants is a piece of cake. They really soak people to them, so they can easily take out the top talents out of it. To give you an idea, according to Bloomberg, in February 2011 Google got 75.000 applications for only 6.000 openings! That is a more than 1:10 ratio.

Now, holding them on board is a totally other game and if you can’t do it properly the costs of letting someone go and replacing him/her could cost you 250% of the year salary due to losing knowledge, inefficiencies at work, recruitment costs etc…

Usually, people speak about bonuses or perks in general. You can easily find the list of the top 100 companies forwho score best for each of them on

But that is not what I would like to tell you about. Recent studies have unveiled that more and more people are not in for only money or perks as they used to be up till now. They need other things to stay.

Daniel Pink, one of my favourite authors writes in his book ” Drive : the surprising truth about what motivates us” that there are 3 elements to take into account when you want to get employee loyalty and identification with your company.

  1. Autonomy: People want to decide for themselves how, what, with whom and where they want to work. It is astonishing to see students succeeding on campus in their own way. They decide when to go to class, they decide whether or not they go to some social event and how frequently they do it and they decide when to learn for exams or other projects. When they graduate, suddenly they are forced into a clockwise scheme of companies that says to them when to arrive, where to work, with who and so on. This really frightens them and it isn’t fruitful after all. Studies already showed that this isn’t helpfull to foster creativity nor does it generate employee loyalty. Best Buy got the idea for its headquarters and started a program called R.O.W.E, Results-Only-Work-Environment. People get to choose for themselves where they work, when they work, with who etc. this enabled the company to raise productivity at the headquarters with 25 %. Employee turnover crashed to an all time low for the company. People are very reluctant to leave the company because they know this “employee-driven” environment is so unique.
  2. Purpose: Connection with a greater good. In general people want to know where they do it for. People are purpose seekers, so you should enable people to connect to a greater good that reunites them. Therefore having leadership trainings, mission statement trainings etc…are of the greatest importance for companies and it will get even more important in the future, considering that generation X, who is entering the employee market, is really demanding this.
  3. Mastery:People want to experience that they grow. Never forget that when you are good in something, that in general you really adore what you are doing then. Loving what you do and getting better at it go hand in hand. Coached practice gets perfect! People in general know more and more that being busy is not enough. You should be busy with the right things and you should get the opportunity to grow. This element requires coaching or mentoring, traineeships etc…

Therefore, companies should focus on these 3 elements to retain there people. Strategies to empower autonomy, purpose and mastery are attainable for big and small companies. Perhaps that is the best news for all those Small and Medium companies amongst us.

So, what is the next big thing you are going to do to retain your employees?



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