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Beyond Yoga Mats and Smoothie Bars: What Really Matters for Employee Retention

Do This:

  1. Do hire people who are more intelligent than you. It may sound counter-intuitive, but having a team of experts who know more than you can help to push boundaries and increase productivity. For example, Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, once said, "I hire people despite their lack of experience, not because of it."

  2. Do allow your employees to take risks and make mistakes. Failure is often a necessary step toward success, and learning from mistakes can lead to innovation. For example, Google's "20% time" policy allows employees to spend 20% of their workweek on personal projects that interest them, leading to breakthrough products like Gmail and Google Maps.

  3. Do encourage constructive conflict. Disagreements and debates can lead to better decision-making and innovation. For example, Amazon's leadership principles include "disagree and commit," which encourages open communication and discussion but ultimately supports the team's final decision.

Don't Do This:

  1. Don't use fear as a motivator. While fear may seem like an effective way to get results, it often leads to toxic workplace cultures and high turnover rates. For example, former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick's aggressive and competitive leadership style led to a toxic culture and multiple scandals.

  2. Don't focus solely on financial rewards. While salary and bonuses are important, they are only sometimes the top priority for employees. For example, a study by Deloitte found that meaningful work, a positive workplace culture, and opportunities for growth and development are more important than financial rewards for employee retention.

  3. Don't ignore your employees' well-being. Burnout and stress can lead to disengagement and turnover. For example, Facebook has a "wellness allowance" that employees can use for fitness classes, therapy, and other health and wellness services.

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