When she was at Google, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer figured out how to keep employees from burning out and jumping ship.
It’s a technique she refers to as “finding your rhythm,” Mayer told author Hanna Rosin in an interview for her book “The End of Men: And the Rise of Women
Mayer said women are especially susceptible to burning out because they are faced with more demands in the home.
“What causes burnout, Mayer believes, is not working too hard,” Rosin writes. “People, she believes, ‘can work arbitrarily hard for an arbitrary amount of time,’ but they will become resentful if work makes them miss things that are really important to them.”
Mayer has commented on how she doesn’t believe in burnout before.
She gave an anecdote for how she kept one Google executive, whom she calls “Katy,” from quitting:
“Katy loved her job and she loved her team and she didn’t mind staying late to help out. What was bothering Katy was something entirely different. Often, Katy confessed, she showed up late at her children’s events because a meeting went overly long, for no important reason other than meetings tend to go long. And she hated having her children watch her walk in late. For Mayer, this was a no-brainer. She instituted a Katy-tailored rule. If Katy had told her earlier that she had to leave at four to get to a soccer game, then Mayer would make sure Katy could leave at four. Even if there was only five minutes left to a meeting, even if Google cofounder Sergey Brin himself was mid sentence and expecting an answer from Katy, Mayer would say “Katy’s gotta go” and Katy would walk out the door and answer the questions later by e-mail after the kids were in bed.”
The key to sustaining loyalty in employees is making sure they get to do the things that are most important to them outside of work, Mayer told Rosin.
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