Dear Mentor:

H1 to green card: how do I keep him?

I have an employee, an engineer from India who also completed a Masters degree from the US. For the last 2 years or so, he was on H1 work visa, but he just got his green card. I worry that he may now go elsewhere for work. How do I keep him happy here? Any ideas are appreciated.

Bill, San Jose, CA, USA

Dear Bill:

This reply may sound a bit harsh to you, but we would rather provide an honest response, or not offer a response at all. So, here it goes.

We believe that a satisfied and happy employee is the best employee a business can have. An employee/employer relationship is nothing but an overlapping of mutually beneficial interests. We all know that the days of employee loyalty in the face of any and all actions by the employer are long gone. If you think that the only attraction you and your business can offer to this employee is the green card, then there is nothing that can save you from losing this employee: for you and this employee the days of the mutually beneficial relationship are over.

We are surprised that you even asked this question. Indian employees are no different from other employees, at your business or at any other business. Offering and engaging employees in an on-going mutually beneficial relationship is the only way to retain them. If you think you can pull a special trick to retain this employee because he is Indian, you are sorely misguided.

You must treat this employee exactly the way you would any other employee for retention. You must offer this employee exactly what you would offer others for retaining them. To think otherwise is foolhardy.

Good luck, Bill.

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