Talent Connection Blog

Sometimes it can be frustrating to deal with employee retention problems—even when you make retention efforts—only to see other companies accomplishing it with apparent ease. Your company may not be as big as theirs, but it doesn’t mean you can’t use their same tactics to achieve the same results. Netflix, Whole Foods, Clif Bar & Company, and Amazon are four companies that are retaining their employees in creative ways. Take a look at their ideas for some inspiration for your own employee retention strategies.

Netflix reminds people to focus on character in the hiring process—because it’s not just about skill when finding that right fit. They also encourage you to treat employees like adults—give them the direction without holding their hand as they walk down the path. If you are confident in who you have hired, give them a reasonable amount of freedom to show you how well they complete tasks. Netflix also emphasizes the importance of great managers.

Whole Foods focuses on creating a values-driven company culture. They also strive for empowering work environments through encouraging decision making among employees. Finally—and this is a big one for the younger generations—they let people be themselves at work. Employees get to wear comfortable, appropriate clothing of their choice and don’t have to hide their tattoos, personality, or sense of style.

Clif Bar & Company emphasizes a culture of ownership—employees look forward to providing for the company because they feel it belongs to them. The company also implements personalized growth and development plans. They also highlight the importance of effective leadership.

Amazon has been in the spotlight in a negative way lately about its poor company culture. But their missteps can be used as lessons and tips. It is better to cultivate a culture of cooperation, rather than mistrust. Amazon’s slip-ups also remind us not to rely on Golden Handcuffs—the assumption that providing an incentive, usually monetary, will keep employees around just long enough to repay the hiring and onboarding costs and be of value in the short run.  Amazon’s Golden Handcuffs were stocks; they theorized that employees would stick around for a couple of years it would take for their stocks to grow, but this small perk did not outweigh the toxic company culture, and most employees leave within a year. This is an easy reminder that money alone doesn’t make employees stay.

You don’t have to be a Fortune 500 company for employees to have the desire to stick around. What’s important is that you provide a healthy, enjoyable work environment. Employees that are worth it will recognize this and reciprocate with loyalty and hard work.