Dissecting Microsoft’s Generosity toward Its Employees



Four weeks of paid leave

Microsoft (MSFT) now offers paid leave to employees who need to take care of a sick or elderly family member. If a Microsoft employee needs time off to care for a sick or elderly relative, the company will offer four weeks of paid leave. The employee can extend his or her stay away from the office for eight more weeks, but Microsoft will not pay for these additional weeks. In the past, the company would grant its employees 12 weeks of unpaid leave to care for their sick relatives.

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Attempt to boost talent retention

What might have led Microsoft to change these policies? The answer could lie in the need to try to improve its talent retention.

Several technology companies, including Facebook (FB) and Netflix (NFLX), are sweetening perks for their employees to make it difficult for rivals to raid their talent pools.

Microsoft’s talent race

As Microsoft is focused on a turnaround woven around mobile and cloud computing, the tech giant is trying to prevent poaching of its employees. The loss of its prized workers could weaken its turnaround efforts.

In its mobile and cloud push, Microsoft is fighting against Apple (AAPL), Alphabet’s (GOOGL) Google, and Amazon (AMZN), and it has a lot of catching up to do in these markets. As the chart above shows, Microsoft’s Windows is significantly subdued in the mobile operating systems market as it is only counted among Other OS.


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