(This Q&A is part of a series of articles based on reactions from HR experts to Founders Circle’s retention report. For different point of view, read “Let your employees go,” our conversation with Patty McCord, the former HR head at Netflix and author of Powerful: Building A Culture of Freedom and Responsibility. Also, for additional advice, see “How to retain star performers: Tips from HR pros.”)
Don’t panic if your company suffers a spike in attrition, says Chris Barbin, the venture capitalist and longtime technology entrepreneur. Unless the people leaving are top performers, the departures might even prove beneficial to the company.
But if the best workers are part of the exodus, you may have a serious problem, he says.
Barbin co-founded IT consulting firm Appirio in 2006 and sold it a decade later to Wipro, where he served as global cultural officer, for $500 million. Now a venture partner at VC firm GGV Capital, Barbin shared these thoughts in reaction to a survey conducted by Founders Circle, which revealed that some of tech’s hottest startups suffer from sky-high attrition rates.
In a wide-ranging conversation with Founders Circle, Barbin talked about what he’s learned in 25 years working with young companies about what prompts employees to exit. Most importantly, he offered valuable tips on how managers can retain their top employees. These are edited excerpts from that conversation.