Google struggles to retain its star employees

Google struggles to retain its star employees

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Money doesn't buy loyalty

According to an article published this week by The Guardian, the departure of Dennis Crowley and Alex Rainert from Google earlier this month has caused a stir at the company. These young entrepreneurs sold their social network Dodgeball to Google in 2005, through an agreement that some estimate reached 30 million dollars (about 22 million euros); but, for them, these two years with the California group have been enough.

"It's no secret that Google wasn't backing Dodgeball in the way we expected," Crowley says. His decision to leave the company highlights Google's growing problem in keeping staff financially independent.

Since its market fluctuations in 2004, the company has made millionaires of thousands of its employee shareholders, in addition to Chad Hurley and Steven Chen, founders of YouTube, and the shareholders of the advertising company DoubleClick, acquired by Google two years ago. weeks.

Now the big problem is keeping staff who have gotten rich. For example, Aydin Senkut, who joined Google in 1999 to oversee international development, when the company had just 50 employees (far fewer than the 11,000 it now has) became rich, like many other Google employees, when the company went public. Finally, in 2005, she left the group to establish her own company, Felicis Ventures. After spending six years with the company and feeling like it was time to try something new, Senkut says, I took a leave of absence to recharge my batteries and think about whether I wanted to continue. “I realized […] that what I missed above all was the feeling of a beginning, of building a culture”.

Although Google has declined to comment on the number of employees who have made a great fortune from its fluctuations, one report suggests that the number is around 900 people.

Lise Buyer, a business strategist and Wall Street veteran, came to Google in 2004 and later left to set up her own consultancy, called Class V Group. According to her, the well-known Silicon Valley cliché, that money is not important, is real. "In general, no matter how much money they have in the bank, people don't leave a job they love, unless it's to pursue a passion."

That is why Google incentivizes its employees with extras, such as ski trips, childcare benefits or the famous "20% time", which allows them to get out of the routine and start their own projects. Specifically, the engineers who develop and maintain the technologies are held fast.
According to Buyer, the key is for the job to be intellectually rewarding. For every employee who leaves Google, there are many who stay. In fact, staffing numbers have nearly quadrupled since the 2004 fluctuation, but maintaining the magic of a company in its infancy is difficult.

"The early stage was special," says Senkut, who still has a significant stake in Google. "And it is impossible to recover that feeling." According to him, despite the company's efforts to preserve that magic, he felt that it was no longer the same company that he had started with years before.

Source: Technology Guardian

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