Before You Even Think About It

By Richard Florida

Google has developed a nifty new algorithm to identify employees who are most likely to leave the company. Discoblog explains:

Performance reviews, pay raises, promotion histories, and other data on its 20,000 employees were crunched into yet another mathematical formula, which reportedly spat out the names of who was most likely to quit.

No surprise, Google insiders are keeping quiet about the details of the algorithm, though they will say that it has already "identified employees who felt underused," a key precursor to telling your boss to shove it. Meanwhile Laszlo Bock, the company's head of HR, told the Wall Street Journal that the algorithm helps the company "get inside people's heads even before they know they might leave."

Perhaps it's fashionable to bash uber-successful companies. I visited Google twice for book talksĀ  - once at their Silicon Valley headquarters, and also at their NYC office. I've been to a lot of high-tech companies, leading-edge manufacturing plants, and the trendiest of creative enclaves, but Google still blew me away. The digs were great, and employees (at least the ones I met) appeared smart, challenged by their work, and genuinely engaged in what they were doing. Not to mention, the algorithm seems pretty useful and reasonable to me.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2009/05/before-you-even-think-about-it/18042/