Microsoft: Competing on Talent Essay Example

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  5
Wordcount:  1180 Words
Date:  2022-09-07

In 1999, Microsoft organization experience some losses as the top talented workers decided to go offline. Most of them were tired of frustrating bureaucracy and gruel deadlines that came as a result of Microsoft's explosive growth. Steve Ballmer claimed that some of the employees left the job voluntary while others are involuntary. Subsequently, this open more chances for smarter replacements. According to the company's president, at times people are fired to open up space for the coming generation (Tavis, 2017). Despite the confident look, the president emphasizes that the company ought to embrace excellent human resource practices to assemble as well as retain what Bill Gates referred as the best team of software professionals, the world has ever witnessed. On the other hand, Ballmer highlighted some positive changes that the company is yet to adopt including increase salaries, frequent promotion as well as accommodative deadlines.

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According to some people, the departure of the workers from the company was a sign of looming challenges that the Microsoft is experiencing in its operations. However, according to Ballmer and Gates, the company's excellence was initially dependent on its ability not only to recruit but also motivate as well as retain exceptional talented workers. Moreover, Gates always emphasized that just outstanding people are in place to code excellent programs. Well, the major challenge that Microsoft was facing by that time was inability to retain highly specialized employees (Toulis & Golab, 2017, May). For this reason, there is a need to review its policies, practices as well as philosophies dated back in the 1980's. Remarkably, it will be of great importance to review how Microsoft's explosive growth influenced the way these policies are implemented within the organization.

The first solution is using development through stretch and challenge. Employing smart and self-driven people in a company is of great importance. However, such employees are only developed through challenging as well as engaging tasks assignment especially those that stimulate the mind to think more critically. The growth of an organization combined with 'n minus" staffing guarantee healthy organizational stretching as well as engagement is job assignments (Sheets & Tyszko, 2015). Even though the company offered various training programmers for the managers, none of them was mandatory nor even enough. Additionally moving from the management of 10 people to control over 200 people overnight was the best form of training. Generally speaking, such a transition can either improve the operation of the company or destroys it. Correspondingly, most of the companies have benefited from the aspect of development through stretch and challenge (Toulis & Golab, 2017, May).

The second solution is through review and reward. This is one of the useful options-driven engines that Microsoft should embrace to retain most of the employees. Who does not embrace reward? Ultimately, all workers always wish to be rewarded. Rewards are what motivates workers thus delivers exceptional and quality performance. This is what most organizations desire solely for their growth and development (Tavis, 2017). Most noteworthy, Bill Gates emphasized that rewards and other compensation for hard work are the essential aspects of motivations, therefore, retention. During its initial operations, Microsoft used to give top talented worker huge rewards through higher salaries. For instance, Bill Gates, offer $50000 for his position for Steve Ballmer to accept his position together with 6 percent stake. On the other hand, it will be of great importance if Microsoft will link most of the rewards with performance. Subsequently, almost all employees will strive hard to give the best to the company to earn more rewards (Tavis, 2017).

The two solutions impact Microsoft's performance. Remarkably, each one has its advantages and disadvantages. Subsequently, one of the solutions will outweigh the other one. Let's evaluate them in details. In comparison, the two solutions promise to help the company retain its workers. Development through stretch and challenging involves imposing more tasks to the workers in the expense of training them to become the best managers while review and reward is based on criterion of awarding employees based on their performance may be regarding monetary values other applicable rewards. However, for the case, Microsoft, development through the stretch and challenge might not be the ultimate solution because most of those who are employed are technical people (Toulis & Golab, 2017, May). In more general terms, in rare occasions do technical staff become the best administrative managers and for this reason, the company would only be compensated for their hard work regarding promotions, recognition or even product managers. Similarly, not all workers will sustain development through stretch and challenge.

On the hand, rewards and reviews would motivate the workforce to work more extra hard. Who does not want to the extra coin? Ultimately all anyone wishes to have more and more money. For this reason, Microsoft will tend to expand faster while retaining most of its talented employees. Besides, reward and review apply to all personnel irrespective of the professional level or hierarchy (Sheets & Tyszko, 2015). That is to say, everyone within the organization is eligible for an award. Most noteworthy, the awards should be majorly based on performance. The better you perform, the more rewards to can obtain. Based on this justification. Awards and reviews are the ultimate solutions for Microsoft. This is because rewards attract the attention of most workers impacting them to think more critically thus leading to exceptional performance (Sheets & Tyszko, 2015).

Based on the aspects mentioned above, reward and review seem the most suitable solution for retaining highly specialized works in Microsoft organization. During its early days, Microsoft used to employ the best and brightest people. This is because Bill Gates believed that it takes those who are intelligent to develop outstanding software. However, as the years went by, the policies and philosophies that the company rely on changed due to explosive growth (Toulis & Golab, 2017, May). Subsequently, there is a need for the company to employ a strategic human resource management perspective. Among the outlined above, rewards and reviews strategy outweighs development through the stretch and challenging particularly for Microsoft. With rewards and reviews, it is quite easy to maintain the employee. This because of their hard work and dedication is solely for their achievement. Perhaps, their achievements are directly proportional to the growth and advancement of Microsoft.


In conclusion, rewards and review of performance is the most effective strategic human resource management perspective in this scenario. Through this, the company will be in place to motivate as well as retain all kind of employees irrespective of their gender, hierarchy and other aspects to be considered in the workplace. Besides, the company must learn to balance between growth and well-being of the workers. Rapid growth results in too much work and this might discourage the majority of the workers even if those who perform best are rewarded (Tavis, 2017).


Sheets, R., & Tyszko, J. (2015). Competing on innovation: Implications for building the middle-skill talent pipeline.

Tavis, A. (2017). How HR and Marketing Are Reinventing the Talent Brand Together. People & Strategy, 40(4), 8-10.

Toulis, A., &Golab, L. (2017, May). Graph Mining to Characterize Competition for Employment. In Proceedings of the 2nd International Workshop on Network Data Analytics (p. 3). ACM.

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