But I'll speak sacrilege, and state my belief:
Golden handcuffs do not solve attrition problems, they merely mask them.
Think about it -- do you really want someone as part of your team or company if they are only staying because there's so much money on the line? Do you really think they'll do their best - for you, for your product, for your team - if their mindset starts and stops with their "walk-away" value?
There is a better way to fight attrition:
Create something that's cool to be a part of.
There's a decent article here, that talks about why employees quit their jobs. To sum it up, they don't quit their jobs. They quit their bosses. If you read the reasons, and think about the atmosphere they describe, you can come up with a few traits that would describe the antithesis - a job that's cool to have, and a company that's cool to work for:
- Employees are valued
- Employees aren't viewed as commodities
- Employees are treated fairly
- Employees aren't deceived or lied to
- Employees understand what's expected of them
- Eschew compensation-based retention strategies. Pay your people fairly. If you can afford to, pay them more than fairly.
- Make sure "management" knows their role in retention. Make them understand that people quit their bosses more often than they quit their jobs.
- Make a workplace that's cool and fun to be a part of. Make it such that people like their jobs.
- Do this for your "local" teams, as a matter of course.
- Do this for your remote contract teams too, if you want them to be effective.
- When someone does quit, make sure that you figure out why. When an employee quits, have a manager out of their chain of command conduct an exit interview. Figure out the root cause for the attrition. Watch for patterns. Maybe you have a bad manager who demeans his staff. Maybe you have an indifferent manager who doesn't recognize or reward her team's good work.
- Address the root cause, not the symptom. Fix the managers if you want to fix your attrition problems.