If I were a software engineer, I probably would want to work at Google. Smart people to work with--at one point, approximately 16 percent of its employees had PhDs. Cool projects to work on--Google spends 15 percent of its revenue on research and development. A focus on leadership development--Google spent years unpacking the traits of great managers.

For the right people, Google seems like a destination job.

Yet a recent study conducted by Resume.io shows the average tenure of a Google employee is only 1.3 years, making them one of the top 10 companies where employees apparently don't want to stay.

Granted, that's not unusual for tech and software companies. The average tenure at Zoom is also 1.3 years. Reddit's average tenure is 1.2 years. The Meta (Facebook) average is 1.7 years. Work for a big name, even for a short period of time, and it's a lot easier to get a great job at a smaller firm or startup.  

"Hired by Google" is surely a stamp of approval that opens doors.

Maybe that's one reason Google has taken a thoughtful approach to remote and hybrid work schedules: Allow teams to determine the best way to work, and be intentional and purposeful about their time, and your employees are much more likely to want to stay. 

But still: Great employees can always easily find other employment options. Superstars can easily find other places to work--in fact, they're often recruited. Formally, sure, but also informally, since one of the signs of an exceptional employee is that they were pulled into a job by someone they previously worked with. (You're great, I change companies, I succeed in bringing you with me.)

So what should Google do to increase the average employee's tenure?

More important, what should you do if your employee turnover rate is high?

You may be the problem. (Here's one way to tell.)

But hopefully that's not the case, for you or Google. (Google has a 4.5 out of 5 rating on Glassdoor.) More likely it's the nature of your market or industry.

If that's the case, embrace the fact that many of your employees will be short- rather than long-term. See that as an opportunity, rather than a challenge.

Relatively high turnover for the right reasons -- growth, opportunities to learn, higher pay, etc. -- is a good thing for your employees.

And could be for you. Instead of seeing a team as a stable collection of individuals, think of a team with a rotating cast of talented people, all of whom collectively push your goals forward.

New employees bring energy, enthusiasm, and ideas. Different perspectives. Different experiences.

In our industry, it's a tradition to have young people passing through the restaurant. They give energy, are hardworking, and commit to their mentor. We know their goal is to finally live their dream and manage their own kitchen as chef. We know that they will potentially compete with us, but we don't see it as a threat. We see it as a positive thing.

Competition is a blessing. We have learned not to fear it but to harness it. It motivates us and makes us want to be better.

Employees who leave don't just leave holes; they also create opportunities to add great people to your team.

Sure, people who probably won't stay forever

And that's OK.

Because you'll never be able to make people stay.

But you can get the best from them, and wish them well after their time with you has better positioned them to pursue their own dreams.