Why a great workplace won’t stop your employees leaving (and that’s ok)


Facebook and Google are both rated in the top 10 best places to work in 2018, according to a new Glassdoor list.

Counterintuitively, earlier this year, a Business Insider report found that employees stay just 2.02 years on average at Facebook and 1.90 years at Google.

So why are all these employees leaving so quickly? Shouldn’t a great place to work encourage people to stay? Does that ‘great place to work’ accolade really mean anything at all?

Determining a ‘great place to work’

First, let’s look at some of the factors which contribute to a ‘great place to work’. According to Glassdoor, the winning companies have four things in common:

A mission to believe in:

  • Employees have a sense of purpose and understanding of how they make an impact
  • A motivating mission that inspires quality work

Strong culture:

  • Clearly defined and shared set of values that fosters community
  • Engaged leaders that view positive culture as part of a good business strategy

People focus:

  • Employees are engaged and empowered to do their best work
  • Emphasis on employee growth and development


  • Open and clear communication, from the top down
  • Honest feedback is valued and encouraged

Sounds great right? So, why would anyone want to leave somewhere like this.

Your employees are in demand

What if your employees leave because you provide a great place to work?

What if your mission, culture, focus on people and transparency create the conditions needed for your employees to thrive?

Take a look at the list again. You enable your people to excel, deliver quality work, develop and grow.

Chances are, by doing that you help them become more in demand from other companies just like you.

And that’s also ok, because now that you’re such a great place to work, you’ll continue to attract the best and the brightest. They will in turn help your company to progress and succeed even moreso, with their new ideas and expertise.

Great places to work help create great employees

I think we need to change our attitude towards job tenure and retention. The best employees may not stay for long, but that’s ok.

Instead, we need to help people to reach their greatest potential, during their time that they are with us, in order for them to make the greatest contribution.

A focus on mission, culture, people and transparency isn’t just the right thing to do by your people – it makes business sense too. And that’s a great place to work in anyone’s book.



3 quotes on brand purpose from PR Moment’s PR pros event

Last week’s PR Moment ‘brand purpose’ event brought together speakers from M&S, BMW, Lexis Agency and Ladbrokes Coral to share how and why brands develop their purpose and how this impacts communications.

So, what did the PR pros have to say on this topic? Here’s my top three quotes from the evening:

  1. Purpose helps you ‘say no more’ ~ Tania Littlehales, M&S (@tanialmns)

Brand purpose defines why you do what you do and what you stand for.

It allows you to be more strategic by providing a framework for business decision-making.

It will help you to put the customer at heart of everything you do, be more selective about what you do, and confidently say no to initiatives that don’t fit your purpose.

Case in point, this one from M&S, when CEO Steve Rowe felt the brand was losing clarity on what it stood for:



2. ‘Our brand purpose doesn’t mention cars’ ~ Graham Biggs, BMW @biggs3008

BMW’s purpose doesn’t mention cars. Starbucks’ purpose doesn’t mention coffee.

Why? Because it’s not about what you do or what you make, it’s about how you make the world a better place (credit for this quote: @chonners) 

And in a highly-competitive world that purpose is your differentiator. It’s what sets you apart and influences customer and investor loyalty.

‘The power of purpose’ will also be a key driver for employee engagement. It’s much more inspirational and motivational than any of your products and services.

3. Brand purpose ‘is not a comms thing’ ~ Toby Conlon, Lexis Agency @chonners

It’s no good having a purpose that simply sits on a some documents within the comms team. Brand purpose must be backed up by action.

That means helping employees demonstrate the right values and behaviours, recruiting the right people for your purpose and ensuring leaders demonstrate integrity that’s consistent with the purpose too.

At the sharp end, leaders must be willing to ‘take the hit’ on revenue if opportunities come along which don’t align with the organisation’s purpose.

Take outdoor clothing company Patagonia – its Black Friday promotion told people ‘Don’t buy this jacket’. Why? Because Patagonia believes in sustainability and the company wanted its customers to think twice before they bought new items.


Thanks to all the speakers and also everyone at PR Moment for an interesting and useful evening; I really enjoyed hearing about how brand purpose has impacted all of these companies.