Google uses maths to improve employee retention
David Woods, May 21, 2009
Google is taking steps to improve its employee retention by implementing a mathematical formula that calculates when staff are likely to leave the company.
The algorithm works by taking data from staff pay history, promotion history and employee reviews and appraisals of its 20,000 staff worldwide.
The programme is still in the test phases, so the company is not ready to share information about the technical workings of the system, but a spokesman told HR magazine: "As anyone who has observed Google over the years knows, we are serious about keeping our employees happy.
"The work we do in predictive attrition helps us find situations that may increase the likelihood of some ‘Googlers' leaving the company so that managers and HR staff can work on avoiding those very situations.
"These efforts don't identify specific people at risk of leaving but instead focus on the less obvious factors that may contribute to the decision to leave the company."
Google does not intend to use the algorithm to prevent employees who wish to leave the company from doing so, but hopes to find out which employees are feeling demotivated so training and recognition can be used more strategically.