Leadership

How to keep your best employees from quitting, according to the CEO of Chevron

Chevron Chairman and CEO John Watson
Eric Piermont | AFP | Getty Images
Chevron Chairman and CEO John Watson

John Watson didn't expect to stay with one company for over three decades, but that company made him an offer he couldn't refuse: That he would never have to be bored.

In 1980, he joined Chevron as a financial analyst, held multiple supervisory positions and eventually became CEO and chairman. He's held that position since 2010.

And, as Watson tells LinkedIn Executive Editor Daniel Roth, "every time I said, 'Well, gee, I wish I could do something else,' I was moved on to some other part of the company."

To keep strong employees, Watson says companies should use that same strategy and support workers who want to move between departments. It not only encourages retention but also creates connections among different teams, he says.

At Chevron, thanks to this policy, "everybody knows everybody."

"If you have to leave a company to get a new challenge, I think that's a really sad statement," Watson says.

"I think it's a missed opportunity for some companies to not try to retain their workforce and keep them stimulated over time."