[HR.COM] Building An Employee Tribe As Intensely Loyal As Cisco's

The secret to developing loyalty

Posted on 09-12-2018, by:

Yuri Kruman

Tech employees may be well-pampered, but are hardly loyal, by and large. According to LinkedIn research, most companies that are perennial "best places to work" like Facebook, Google and Salesforce still can't "perk" their way to employee loyalty beyond a mere 2-3 years, on average

It seems that "move quickly and break things" applies equally to tech careers.

But there are notable exceptions to the trend. These are more seasoned, less "start-upy" companies like Oracle, Adobe, Apple and Cisco. The median employee age at Oracle is an "ancient" 39, going down to 35 at Cisco, while Adobe checks in at 33 and Apple at 31. By comparison, Facebook's median employee age is 28 and Google's, 30.

It makes intuitive sense that older workers with families would seek stability and calm over the cache of working 24/7 in a hot, young startup or one of the Big Five (Google, Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft).

Ageism in tech is also nothing to sneeze at. After all, Mark Zuckerberg once famously declared, in 2007, "young people are just smarter."

And yet, the reasons people stay are more complex than just salaries, bonuses and work/life balance.

When they do, it isn't for the free food or gym, or unlimited vacation, since they're standard in the industry. Oddly enough, the secret to loyalty may be hipsters working in their PJs at home.

According to a study on remote workers commissioned by Upwork, 52% of hiring managers surveyed listed "shortage of talent" as the top driver leading to the adoption of a remote workforce.

For most tech companies, their embrace of a remote workforce has been reactive and half-hearted, at best, coming when many have doubled down on expensive new offices and shuttle bus fleets despite increasing commutes.

To the 68% of Millennial workers for whom the option of remote work would greatly increase their interest in specific employers, it appears that the prestige of a Big Five company on their resume is outweighed by the same logistics and "face time" requirements outside of tech at around 2 years into the job.

Serendipitously or not, Cisco was onto the remote work trend long before most others. With its workforce spread among 273 metropolitan areas in 93 countries, Cisco was a telecommuting pioneer, pushing for more remote workers as part of a strategic plan to reduce real estate and travel costs, rather than to compete with tech Joneses.

The payoff in costs saved ($196M), premium reaped on real estate sales ($294M), and most importantly, in increasing employee engagement and workplace satisfaction (both up by 17%) and work/life balance (up by 11%) has been tremendous.

And whether or not this was by design or coincidence, Cisco has reaped the benefits of a highly loyal workforce with well above average tenure.
In the current job economy that strongly favours candidates, the writing is on the wall. And as those intent on breaking things and moving quickly know well, reacting to trends, rather than creating them means you've lost your edge.    

(ENTREPRENEUR.COM) Today's Top Talent Will Only Work for a Company That Stands for Something


Today's Top Talent Will Only Work for a Company That Stands for Something

Entrepreneur article image 2.jpeg

Hint: Ad men and PR spin doctors need not apply.

Yuri Kruman


Employee Experience Consultant | PR Strategist | Author | Speaker

August 29, 2018 5 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Most large corporations, especially in the Fortune 500, have coasted for too long on the talent front, over-relying on brand recognition created by ad men in a bygone era. Even as many have embraced digital transformation and strategic sponsorships to stay relevant with younger customers and employees, there still exists a large perception gap between Boomer and Gen X execs and their Millennial employees about employee brand.

For starters, Millennials don't trust governmental and others institutions, nor large corporations, given socio-political and income stagnation. Moreover, they give greater weight to a company's social mission -- or lack thereof -- when deciding whether to buy from or work for a certain company. It's no longer enough for a company's HR strategy to hinge on spun PR, a few photo-ops and campus visits, while throwing money and short-term perks at new recruits.

In our age of social media and self-righteous outrage, word travels fast, both good and bad. One slip-up by a large brand like United or Uber can see to it the brand suffers with customers and becomes radioactive to top talent. Sometimes irreparably.

EX marks the new bull's eye.

In the last few years, customer experience (CX) has become a critical concern for brands desperate for relevance and engagement. By this point, 90 percent of brands compete on customer experience.

The next frontier, according to Forbes, is employee experience (EX). Calling 2018 the "Year of Employee Experience," they assert that brands must now apply the principles of CX to attract, retain, develop their Millennial and Gen Z employees to make them brand ambassadors and leaders.

Related: Why We Replaced (In)Human Resources with 'Employee Experience'


To do this effectively, brands must stop being reactive. Millennials do care a great deal -- and significantly more than Gen X and Boomers, on average -- about corporate social responsibility, says Huffington Post. With already short average Millennial tenures shrinking further, plus a strong economy and high job mobility, brands must pro-actively optimize the employee experience (EX) at every stage to remain compelling to top talent.

Elevating EX.

To do this, companies must start from Maslow's hierarchy as rewritten for the workplace. This includes a competitive salary and health and financial benefits for each employee, as well as strategic (rather than short-term) perks specifically relevant to each employee. Beyond this, founders must create a mission-centered culture of transparency with clear organizational values (such as a "No A-Hole Rule," for instance).

Related: How to Engage Employees Through Your Company Vision Statement

They should encourage optimal utilization of talent internally by facilitating internal mobility, opportunity creation and side-project involvement by employees. As a rule, smart and strategic management stays mostly out of top talent's way. Effective management provides quick and frank feedback and iteration for all, while fostering a culture that continually cultivates the regular celebration of wins, large and small, by all team members.

Optimizing individual talent.

Going higher in Maslow's hierarchy for the workplace, brands must create ample opportunity for top talent to engage in personal and professional development, including time set aside to work on personal projects, much like Google has done for years. These opportunities must be carefully tailored for each employee. They mustn't be canned or irrelevant to an employee's individual career trajectory.

One of the best ways to help each employee become the best version of him- or herself is to pay for a coach of their choice to help develop their career, leadership and/or business skills. Personalized attention and the attendant investment tangibly shows the employee that the company truly cares about him or her as a principle, enough to invest significant resources and time.

Related: A 'Culture of Coaching' Is Your Company's Most Important Ingredient for Success

Last, but not least, a great employer brand in our age must build a broader, more diverse and inclusive umbrella for employees and customers. This starts with hiring under-represented talent that thinks, works and sees the world differently than over-represented demographics -- then getting out of their way, so they can do their best work and help your brand access new markets and customers, to create new revenue.

Above all, building a compelling employer brand is strongly aligned with improving the bottom line. As such, it should not be viewed as a drain on time and resources. Rather it is a strategic organizational transformation, one intended to increase the brand's relevance to customers and employees, which will in turn lead to better performance and to happier shareholders and board.

(NEXT GEN SUMMIT INTERVIEW) Spotlight on Yuri Kruman

Meet Yuri Kruman - Corporate Employee Experience and PR/Media Consultant, Forbes and Entrepreneur Contributor, CEO of MasterTheTalk.com, Speaker, Author, and Startup Advisor

180621_Yuri_242 Cropped (smaller size).gif


What is your best advice to a younger entrepreneur hoping to follow in your footsteps?

Don't do it (#KiddingNotKidding). In all seriousness, don't follow anyone's footsteps. You have your own story and your own "zone of genius." Learn from every person you encounter in person or otherwise, whose book you read or whose TED talk you hear. Learn for both the good and bad - what to do and what not to do when you're in a similar position or making a similar decision. The key is to learn from people who succeeded despite challenges similar to yours. Learn their best practices and apply them, as relevant to your situation. Never compare yourself to anyone, except to the younger, less wise and mature version of yourself. Take ownership of your story, language and psychology. When you have nothing else in the world, you always have control over your thoughts, speech and actions. Set up boundaries around your time and energy for emotions and decision-making. There are limited and non-renewable resources. Cut away people ad habits from your life that are anything but helpful to your life mission and values. The simplest way to start a business is around delivering a service or product that is easy for you to deliver/create, provides massive value to clients and for which there is significant market need. From that, you can create a product, service, brand, ideal client profile and unique selling proposition. Before you invest a lot of time and resources in building those, first see if you can actually sell something (maybe not even built yet) to one or even a few customers, for proof of concept. And remember, forgive yourself quickly and see failure as just quick iteration toward a working version.

What is your ‘genius space’?

My area of greatest mastery is the nexus between language and psychology, both my own and that of each intended audience. This is what underlies my executive coaching work, writing and speaking, as much as employee experience and PR/Media consulting work. It is remarkable for me to see what happens when professionals learn, then perfect their communication with themselves, as well as with other team members, clients, advisors, investors, vendors and other stakeholders in their work and life. 

Voice inflections change. Posture improves. Amazing ideas flow. People become better, more open and creative versions of themselves, increasing productivity, engagement and work product quality, stimulating creativity and decreasing employee turnover, which in turn improves the bottom line. My motto in business is, ."Human First. Resource Second." 

The work I do is my way of fixing the world, one human at a time. It combines several things I've always loved doing, including deep exploration of people's "founding stories" to help them find, pursue and monetize their life mission by playing Sherlock Holmes; helping people to improve their health by helping them find alignment and clarity in work and business; being a rabbi by providing unconditional love and actionable guidance to clients who lack it; being a super-connector between humans and the resources they need to be successful in helping others improve their human condition through their work. 

Finally, at the very core of my work, I get to help people on a daily basis to own and tell their stories in a way that "clicks" and helps them create and convert opportunity for themselves and others, which creates a virtuous cycle.

How do you create a work/life balance?

In our times of super-connectedness and entrepreneurial workaholism, it's damned near impossible to find a "balance" between work and life. That said, there are certain things I do to set boundaries with clients even while going full-blast during work hours. Firstly, as an observant Jew, I keep the Sabbath every week, meaning I don't touch electronic devices and devote time to family, community and regular self-reflection. During work days, I steer all clients and discovery calls to my scheduler, which strictly blocks out time for evenings with family, gym visits, semi-regular dates with my wife and play time with our two daughters (4 and 2). Sundays are for day trips and work in the evenings to prepare for the week. As a consultant and coach, the lifestyle design purposely favors flexibility and being able to take time for an occasional ice cream with my kids in the daytime, if I feel like it. As with all things, it's all a matter of budgeting time and resources appropriately and having good help to take care of the home and kids. 

There is never "enough" time to do everything one needs to as an entrepreneur, since there is always more one can do to add revenue, create more content, help more clients, etc. But if you don't set boundaries for yourself and with the people you work with, you will burn out quickly.

And so, in my case, there isn't so much "balance," as there is mindful integration between the two and strict boundaries to recharge and spend precious time with family, which is the reason I'm doing all this, in the first place.

Connect with Yuri on social media:

Twitter: twitter.com/masterthetalk
Facebook: facebook.com/YuriKruman
LinkedIN: Linkedin.com/in/yurikruman


NativeAdVantage & NativeAdVice

SUNDAY, AUGUST 12, 2018 AT 11:48AM

My NativeAdVice:


Yuri Kruman is a corporate Employee Experience (EX) Consultant, executive coach, startup advisor, Forbes Coaches Council member and Forbes contributor. Yuri's consulting, advising and coaching portfolio includes speaking engagements and workshops.

How did you get into the industry?

I got my start by helping friends through interview and negotiation prep and talking them through career transitions, since I'd been through 3 (now 4) myself. One of my clients helped get me onto the Muse's coaching platform in exchange for helping him negotiate a higher salary to start there. From there, I just over-delivered to each client, built up a great reputation with testimonials and reviews and expanded my services, charged more and built a coaching and consulting business out of it. At one point, I got onto the Forbes Coaches Council and haven't looked back since.

Any emerging industry trends?

Coaching is a commoditized industry that has nevertheless entered the discussion as an employee benefit. There are ever more "Wendy's" (like in "Billions") working in top organizations and executive coaching has become not just a nice-to-have, but a must-to-have. There are tons of new platforms popping up all over to bring top executive coaches to corporations, not just individual consumers. New AI-powered software is driving instant employee feedback and much faster cycles of iteration for optimizing employee experience. This is where the "war on talent" stands today.

Any industry opportunities or challenges?

Since there are already too many platforms for coaches and consultants, the "Fiverr"-ization of coaching and consulting is already here. Even for the top consulting firms, many advisory and other services they are used to delivering are now automatizing or becoming replaced by AI. Just as in medicine, law and business generally, the layers of middle management are getting eliminated, slowly, but surely. This means that only the top ones will survive and the others will have to become more professional, cheaper or just disappear.

Inspiration for the business idea, and your vision for the Business?

The vision came from changing careers successfully 4 times without any experience or connections, as well as from two failed startups before the current success. The future involves much more corporate consulting and training, writing and speaking, with more strategic, long-term, rather than tactical 1:1 work.

What's next for the Business in the near future?

Business is gearing up for more corporate consulting gigs, speaking at conferences and other longer, more strategic Employee Experience and HR Transformation work.

Your key initiatives for the success of the Business?

Key initiatives are focusing on corporate consulting and building meaningful relationships with execs to offer them value in building amazing company cultures, improving internal and external communication through better story telling

Your most difficult moment at the Business? (and what did you learn?)

The most difficult moment came when my daughter was diagnosed with cancer a couple months after I started doing the business full-time. Thankfully, she's in full remission for the last 15 months. There have been many other personal and professional setbacks due to the Great Recession, massive debt, living in NYC, 4 career changes, among others.

Ideal experience for a customer/client?

I'm in the business of providing an ideal experience for my coaching and consulting clients. They most appreciate highly personalized attention, high responsiveness, deep industry insights and access to my networks, in addition to actual business insights that are invaluable in their due diligence for dream jobs and building successful businesses.

How do you motivate others?

I motivate others best through the power of my own story, with all its massive setbacks and challenges overcome through resilience, grit, faith, focus and diligence.

Career advice to those in your industry?

Career advice for coaches, consultants and trainers... Hmmm. Don't become a commodity!

My NativeAdVantage:

What do I do best?

My two superpowers are language and psychology and helping others learn their own and those of their intended audiences. I help people communicate better in their own mind, as well as with everyone in their lives, creating a virtuous cycle.

What makes me the best version of myself?

Resilience, grit, optimism about life and insatiable intellectual curiosity, plus faith in G-d.

What are my aspirations?

My goals are firstly to be a good father, husband, son and friend to people in my life. Professionally, I want to help 1 Billion over the next 10 years to learn and apply the language and psychology of opportunity and success, find their dream jobs and/or build successful businesses.

My Biggest Success?

Personally, it's being a good father, husband and son, as much as I can be. Professionally, my biggest success (aside from always being a work in progress) is managing to build a successful consulting and coaching practice in only two years of doing this full-time, despite massive setbacks including my daughter going through 14 months of cancer treatments, among others. Without spending a dime on PR, I've managed to contribute to Forbes and Entrepreneur, plus get featured or mentioned in Inc., Fast Co., Mashable, BBC, PBS, many top blogs, podcasts and TV shows.

My Most Challenging Moment?

My most challenging moment, among many, has been dealing with my daughter's cancer diagnosis and treatments in the last two+ years (thankfully, she's cancer-free for a year now). While we got through it as best we could and emerged stronger, it took lots of faith, resilience and incredible support from our community to get through the experience, even if it took a toll on my wife and myself to go through this without having family nearby to help regularly.

My Motto?

"If you don't ask, the answer's always no.'"

My Favorite People/Role Models?

My Mom is perhaps my biggest role model, because she's lived through many incredibly difficult experiences (Soviet repression, divorce, two emigrations, dealing with anti-Semitic discrimination, a Ph.D. while raising kids,  misogyny, politics, etc., among many other difficulties throughout her career, while raising two kids on her own). My other role model is her father, Grandpa Isaak (may he RIP) who fought in World War II, went through hunger, three emigrations, anti-Semitic discrimination, among many other difficulties while being a highly respected physician, amazing father, husband, grandfather and friend to many).

My Favorite Places/Destinations?

Israel, Italy, France, Western U.S., Maine

My Favorite Products/Objects?

Chocolate and LinkedIN. #KiddingNotKidding

My Current Passions?

Writing (in the process of writing or finishing 2 books) and reading voraciously.

(ENTREPRENEUR.COM) Google, Facebook and Salesforce Consistently Rank as Best Places to Work. Here's Why.

Empowering each employee is the key to building an amazing culture.


Yuri Kruman


Employee Experience Consultant | PR Strategist | Author | Speaker

July 26, 2018 6 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Talent is still king and tech is Teflon. Despite a host of scandals in the industry, including #MeToo, diversity, data privacy and even fraud, the Googles, Facebooks and Salesforces of the world still draw the best and brightest to their door.

Job and recruiting site Glassdoor, as well as many others, have consistently ranked these three companies as Best Places to Work, with each of the three at or near no. 1 for the last few years. Granted, the respective data mining scandals plaguing both Facebook and Google have not played out entirely, and talent is often a lagging indicator, but none of this has hurt profitability or massive reach for either. In fact, their prowess in attracting talent has gone undiminished despite record low unemployment and a job market that strongly favors talent and giving it the terms it demands.

Since our three companies are seen as standard-bearers in their own right for how to build a great employee-centric workplace culture, it bears to understand how they actually do this -- prestige, hype and Kool-Aid notwithstanding.

At first blush, it would seem logical to expect the best places to work to have the highest employee loyalty. Yet, with tech having the highest employee turnover rate of all industries (13.2 percent), it’s clear employee loyalty is neither expected nor rewarded highly in Best Places to Work rankings.

Imagine an engineer or two on your team giving notice in the middle of a coding sprint, a seeming nightmare for project timelines and strategic planning. Yet, the relatively short average tenures (2.5 at Facebook, 3.1 at Google and 3.5 at Salesforce) seem to have had little to no impact to date on profitability, prestige or the ability to consistently attract top talent.

Culture is still the key to attracting top talent. So what are these companies doing to build and maintain such an amazing culture? There are five main pillars that underpin their success.

1. Values.

In the spirit of moving quickly and breaking things, all three companies have found it critical to maintain transparency about where the company is going, what it’s doing and how through regular town halls and office hours by the CEO. All are big believers in open communication and regular two-way feedback between employees and managers. All three are at least nominally committed to work/life balance, which includes letting employees work remotely at least part of the time, although they remain campus-centered companies.

2. Impact and vision.

There are few things as strong as the outsized impact of working on a product or service that impacts hundreds of billions of users around the world, that bring young, bright-eyed talent to work for the three companies.

What’s more, all three company CEOs -- two of whom are charismatic cofounders (Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook and Mark Benioff of Salesforce) and one is a company lifer with an inspiring life story (Sundar Pichai of Alphabet/Google) -- have a big vision of connecting the world, not being evil and improving the state of the world by empowering business. As such, everyone working for these three companies is connected to a mission much greater than himself.

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3. Mission and innovation.

Never underestimate the power of the mission statement. When people are sacrificing their best year to work crazy hours for you, your mission better be crystal clear and constantly repeated, lest you lose people to the minutiae of their code or job. At all three companies, the mission statement is repeated and espoused as often as possible throughout the company, both internally and out to the world, from the top on down, starting with their leaders.  

The mission of Facebook, although recently changed, is still clear in its focus and thrust. As Zuckerberg has said, this is “to develop the social infrastructure to give people the power to build a global community that works for all of us.” Google’s is “to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful.” Salesforce’s is to enable “everyone who wants to change the world … [with] the technology to do so.”

And the fact that all three hire incredibly intelligent and motivated people to work on big world problems results in all of them having a great feeling to work together on products with massive impact, which in turn makes these three firms top innovators in their fields.

After all, as Steve Jobs once famously said, “It doesn't make sense to hire smart people and tell them what to do; we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do.”

4. Financial growth.

A rising tide lifts all boats; we learn early on in life. This couldn’t be more true for companies whose breakneck growth can fuel innovation, a great culture, a big vision and personal and professional development for all employees, to say nothing of a large range of perks by now standard in tech companies.

It all starts with paying all employees a highly competitive salary and offering a basket of health and financial benefits, as well as adding short-term perks like free food, gym, transportation and dry cleaning to keep employees from having to worry much about errands. Google and Facebook are even working on building and running employee housing to take away the anxiety of high real estate prices in Silicon Valley.

5. Leadership’s focus on maximizing human potential.

Brilliant CEOs often get sidetracked by crises or the launch of cool products. But at Facebook, Google and Salesforce, leadership isn’t just focused on product launches and crisis management, but since the beginning, on maintaining trust and making their company employee-centric. They also make sure to listen regularly and with sincerity, show that they actually care by facilitating necessary changes to keep employees happy and act quickly and decisively to control crises.

In practice, taking great care of their people means ample opportunities for professional and personal development, clear expectations around promotion and pay increases, constant feedback to stimulate regular on-the job improvement, as well as mentorship, guidance and coaching. All of this starts with facilitating open communication in both directions between management and employees.

And in the end, despite tech’s late troubles, the track record these three companies have built will continue attracting top talent, unless and until their actions no longer match their stated values. The companies will sink or swim with the quality of their leaders.

(FORBES) Eight Steps Fortune 500 HR Leaders Must Take To Embrace The Employee Experience

Yuri Kruman

CEO / Founder of Master The Talk Consulting. Career/Business/Life Coach. Startup Exec/Advisor/Investor. Published Author.


Though 2018 has been dubbed "The Year of the Employee Experience (EX)," many Fortune 500 HR leaders are still playing catch-up in understanding and embracing that EX is just as important — if not more so — to their bottom line than customer experience (CX).

Behind buzzwords like "war for talent" and "employee engagement," and beyond slick PR and on-campus recruiting campaigns and short-term perks, EX is the totality of interactions between employer and employee from well before the start date until long after the exit interview.

As Maya Angelou once said, "People may not remember exactly what you did, or what you said, but they will always remember how you made them feel." How much truer this is for companies and their leadership? One look at Glassdoor company pages shows fanatic praise mixed with horror stories.

With record-low unemployment and record-high employee mobility, it's never been more important for companies large and small to critically evaluate, plan out, optimize and improve every stage and component of their EX. Enterprises find themselves with little room for error and tight deadlines to transform their HR and communication practices, or else.

The cost of losing an employee too early (the average tenure of millennials in a job is 24 months) can run up to twice or more the employee's average salary, given the cost of recruiting a new employee plus training and the time it takes to onboard them. Knowing there is no magic bullet, Fortune 500 C-suites are looking for incremental change to stem the tide.

In my own work on both sides of the equation, as a consultant for several Fortune 500 companies then as an executive coach helping hundreds of mid-career Fortune 500 execs transition to their dream jobs, I've seen a fuller spectrum than most of the practices that work and others that fail miserably.

Here are the best practices I've found.

1. Help each employee proactively "find themselves," then extend the experience to candidates.

Empower each employee to figure out his or her life mission, values, ideal client outcomes and preferred role. Then, help them create a detailed career action plan and a clear priority list of ideal incentives, including compensation, appropriate health and financial benefits and other perks to help them thrive. Preemptive alignment between projects, people and goals on personal, team and organizational levels gives the enterprise a win-win.

Going one step further, provide the same tools to potential hires, helping them filter themselves out organically up front. Showing you actually care is great for your brand, even while it helps your bottom line by investing in the right — not just the best available — talent.

2. Listen to each employee carefully, thoroughly and regularly, rather than dictating to them.

Poor communication is the main reason employees become stressed, burned out and gone, regardless of how good a job is otherwise.

Lend an ear, not a survey. Make them feel safe, healthy, focused and empowered. Ask what makes them tick, what they want out of their career and life, and their personal development priorities. Then give them work they like, and the pay and personally relevant incentives they want. Help them progress quickly in their career through personal development and constant opportunities to grow. Be transparent about everything going on in your company, and treat everyone like an adult. If you fail at that, you'll find they quickly leave.

3. Understand all the various motivations and mindsets of each person in your organization.

The C-suite most wants to maximize financial performance, set and evangelize the vision and empower everyone else to execute on it. Middle management looks to steady the boat through enforcement and consistent performance. HR filters out candidates, negotiates incentives and avoids compliance problems. Each has its own incentives and disincentives in communicating or holding back.

An effective internal communication strategy acknowledges and leverages each of these sets of incentives and continually seeks transparency around the organization and mutual alignment on vision and mission.

4. In your HR strategy, embrace and leverage structural shifts happening quickly in the economy.

This includes automation by artificial intelligence (AI), outsourcing and increased mobility between jobs and industries. Acknowledge the writing on the wall. And if you love them, let them go. Enable rotation programs, apprenticeships and secondments to other firms. Create an internal innovation lab and funnel top talent and serious resources to making it thrive. Provided you make a later return an attractive option, these are actually great ways to retain and grow your investment in each employee.

Create a consistently great EX, and top talent will come back with additional training and experience from elsewhere. Word travels fast, whether it's good or bad.

5. Treat employees like VIP customers.

Create a safe environment for giving and receiving feedback, and make sure the feedback is regular. Make both anonymous and direct feedback available. Celebrate wins both big and small and help team members recognize each other publicly for both.

6. Help each employee become the best version of him or herself professionally and personally.

Help them work smarter, not harder. Get them the best tools they need to work quickly and flexibly. Create a tech and learning-and-development budget, relevant software, and other tools to help them continue to improve themselves. Streamline, automate and outsource to improve quality, save time and costs.

7. Make remote and flexible work easier, beyond the usual 9 to 5 face time.

This is a must to keep millennials around longer, save on transit costs and improve morale, family and personal life.

8. Set apart dedicated time for everyone to work on outside projects, be safely vulnerable when needed and fail forward and iterate quickly to get better.

All people need autonomy, trust, health and financial well-being, plus mental safety from their bosses and management to do their best work continuously.

Instead of "letting the inmates run the prison," the best HR strategy is giving professionals everything they need to thrive, then getting out of the way and letting them make you look good.


CEO / Founder of Master The Talk Consulting. Career/Business/Life Coach. Startup Exec/Advisor/Investor. Published Author.