Follow the Leader: 7 Employee Motivation and Retention Strategies Used by Tech Giants

Business.com / HR Solutions / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

The goal of every motivation and retention strategy is to keep the valuable employees of a company from leaving for the competition.

The goal of every motivation and retention strategy is to keep the valuable employees of a company from leaving to start their own business or go to work for the competition.

Tech giants like Google, Apple, and Facebook are known to go well beyond their way in keeping their employees happy through the use of various motivation and retention strategies.

They have to. With enormous profits are well aware that their success rests on the shoulders of the people who work for them.

If they don’t work hard to keep their talent happy and satisfied, the most valuable parts of the company can go and work for any of their many competitors.

Related Article: Awesome Employee Benefits: Attract and Retain Talent With No or Little Cost to Your Business

Tech giants offer a lot of benefits for their employees that should make them happy to come to work every day, feel valued and listened to, and increase their loyalty to the company.

Many of these benefits can be implemented in other companies as well, at least to some extent, so for anyone wondering how to keep their best employees happy, here’s a rundown of a few of the methods the giants of the tech industry are using.

Employee Stock Purchase and Pension

Let’s start with the basics. Giving employees a chance to buy stock in the company is an effective way of reinforcing their sense of being a part of the enterprise.

Company stock as part of a rewards scheme works perfectly for top management. Tech companies know this, so companies like Qualcomm, Salesforce, and Microsoft offer this option to their employees.

Tech companies offer different kinds of 401ks. eBay, Qualcomm and Intuit offer a 401k match, for example.

But no matter what kind of pension plan a company offers to its employees, it will go a long way in letting employees know the company thinks about their future.

Maternal and Paternal Leave

Most of the developed countries in the world mandate that new parents, specifically new mothers, receive some kind of paid maternal leave.

While the United States dosen't have such legislation, a lot of the big tech companies have instated paid maternal and paternal leave.

Yahoo has a reputation for having one of the best paid parental leave policies in the industry. Google gives mothers five months of paid leave with all benefits, and fathers up to 12 weeks. Facebook offers four months of leave and Zuckerberg made use of that option.

While paid maternal and paternal leave seems like something that would hurt a company’s financial bottom line, scaling this measure to the amount of time a company could afford would be a good start.

Health Insurance

The very basic health insurance plan is okay, but tech giants usually offer their employees something more.

Most of the big ones offer at least dental insurance along with general health insurance plans.

Vision healthcare is also included, as is family coverage. Oracle has gone as far as to include mental healthcare in their package

Related Article: A Good Investment: How Keeping Employees Happy Benefits a Business

Tuition Assistance

A big part of retention and motivation is allowing employees to grow professionally by helping them acquire new knowledge.

Companies regularly organize employee trainings, but the tech industry has another thing in mind, they offer tuition assistance to their employees.

Microsoft, Adobe, Salesforce, and eBay all offer either tuition aid or tuition reimbursement.

Encourage Employees to Work on Personal Projects

Google has a well-known 80-20 rule, which states that its employees can spend up to 20 percent of their time at work working on their personal projects.

These projects don’t need to have anything to do with Google or tech, their subject is entirely up for the employee to decide.

Giving employees room to work on something they are personally passionate about while they are at work is a way to ensure they like going to work even more.

Other tech companies have other policies which aim to give their employees time to devote themselves to something that’s not in their job description.

For example, eBay offers its employees a sabbatical after five years of working for the company. Intel has a similar policy that kicks in after four or seven years of working at the company.

Some Small Perks

Every little thing a company can do to make their employees more comfortable counts.

Free coffee, free gym membership, performance related bonuses are some of the things companies like Twitter, Intel, and VMWare offering.

Microsoft offers its employees a childcare plan, and so does Cisco, and some companies are offering reimbursement of travel expenses.

Of course, going as far as offering employees free dry cleaning, which is what Facebook does, is also an option, the only limit is the company’s creativity and the feasibility of the costs of the perks.

Related Article: Employee Benefits: Creative Additions that Don’t Kill the Payroll Budget

Work Actively in Making Employees Happier

Having a strong HR department in the company is one of the key things to having successful motivation and retention programs.

Google has done something better, they have a sector called people analytics, with the sole job of figuring out what they employees desire.

While not every company can create a similar teams, every company should take the lesson and work actively towards making their employees happy.

The philosophy of most tech giants is that a happy employee is a good team member. But a happy employee is also a motivated worker who’s in for the long run.

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