To increase employee retention, more business leaders should challenge their subordinates and then leave them alone to do their jobs. And if businesspeople have confidence in their leaders (and are well compensated) they also will be more likely to stay.\n\nThree-fourths of senior executives and managers say that what means the most to them when it comes to staying with an organization is autonomy and\/or challenge, based on a global survey by NFI Research.This is followed by confidence in leadership, compensation and organizational culture. \u201cIndependence is a great thing after the roller coaster ride of the past few years,\u201d said one survey respondent. \u201cStock prices have had more impact on an individual\u2019s employment options than their ability to produce results.\u201d\u201cI have stayed 15 years because I have great customers and a challenging job with a great deal of variety,\u201d said another. \u201cI definitely don\u2019t stay for the money or benefits.\u201d Said another: \u201cA sense of the importance of the work and clear goals are very key for me.\u201dCompany loyalty is not what it used to be in many organizations, partly because of bottom-lines pressures. \u201cCore values and the ability to grow both personally and professionally are critical to job satisfaction,\u201d said one manager. \u201cLoyalty is a different issue, as it is almost impossible for companies to afford to be loyal to their employees given competitive and quarterly performance pressures.\u201dAnd some could argue that the lack of company loyalty started with the company and not with the employee. \u201cThe erosion in job loyalty is being driven from the top down, not from the bottom up,\u201d said one manager.And if large companies find it more challenging to retain employees, it could be because most people don\u2019t want to work there. Only 14 percent of executives and managers would rather work for a large organization, with a third preferring medium and a third preferring small. (Almost a fifth would rather work for themselves.)Virtually no one working at a small organization would rather work for a large organization. \u201cSometimes you\u2019d be better off being \u2018someone\u2019 in a small organization rather than being a number in a large organization,\u201d said one respondent. \u201cYet, many small companies are bought out by larger ones, and that does not guarantee you a job after the purchase\/merger.\u201d\u201cWhen the social contract between employee and employer was in place, there was a real preference for larger corporations, where loyalty was recognized and rewarded,\u201d said another. \u201cWith that contract now broken\u2014and I think irreparably\u2014a small organization is much more attractive.\u201dBut there are still some who have always gravitated to and feel comfortable with a large company. \u201cI enjoy working in large organization,\u201d said one. \u201cMost of my career of 30 years was spent in organizations of 100,000 employees or more. At 51, being older and with a broad experience, I am disappointed to find that my organization has lost interest in developing my skills or promoting me.\u201dNo matter the company size, businesspeople want to trust their leaders and ultimately to be left alone to deliver for them.Chuck Martin is a best-selling business book author whose latest book, SMARTS (Are We Hardwired for Success?) (AMACOM\/American Management Association), was recently published. He lectures around the world and can be reached at email@example.com.