If you work in the IT sector then you already know supply of IT skills isn’t keeping up with demand.
It’s a competitive market and your employees know it. The 2014 Tech Industry Survey suggested that one third of technical employees are job hunting and 80% are keeping an eye on what’s going on.
(Because the internet is fundamental to how a lot of us manage our businesses and service our customers this could be a concern for more of us than we think).
The typical reaction to employee resignations (if you want to retain them) is to offer more money. But while pay may be a method for attracting new staff it’s only a short term fix (even if you were paying them peanuts) for existing employees.
Job satisfaction and engagement is what keeps IT people happy, loyal and productive.
Ask them what they want.
Yeah I know you asked them in their last appraisal but they didn’t say anything much. In a fast moving sector like this employees interests, needs and requirements can change just as quickly. You’ve got to keep on top of things and that means more regular conversation. Besides would a conversation once every six or twelve months convince you that someone was really interested in what you had to say?
Listen to what they say.
Listening isn’t just about nodding your head every now and then – people only believe they are being heard when they can see their feedback has had some kind of impact. I’m not suggesting you commit to anything elaborate. Focus on one or two little things you can do and are visible (almost) straight away.
Let them get on with it.
Techies want interesting and challenging work to do. That doesn’t automatically mean using the latest technologies or working on the biggest/most important customer project. Make things interesting by giving them control over what they do. Give them the autonomy to make decisions and be creative.
There’s no doubting the positive effects of working with people you like. But for techies it’s more than that. They want to be in an environment where they can learn and develop. That means working with talented people who they can trust and respect. So don’t accept second best.
There are two reasons to stay in touch and on good terms with your leavers. First it’s a small world, especially when you use social media, and word gets round. Second you may not be able to offer that leaver the opportunity they want now but you might do in the future…
What are your engagement tips for techies?
If you’d like to hear more from us on retaining techies, employee engagement, customer engagement or 3Ease surveys… you can email firstname.lastname@example.org; follow us on @peopleessential or sign up to receive our blog/occasional newsletter.