How to Retain Your IT Staff In a Competitive Environment
Written by: Michael Deane
The IT industry of today can be proverbially characterized as a “dog eat dog” world. In such circumstances, you need to do whatever is in your power to retain your personnel, especially those crucial pieces that are most responsible for making your company a household name.
But this can be a rather complicated or even dismaying task at times. Even the more prominent companies need to look to their laurels in order to keep up with the competition. That’s why it’s highly advised that you follow some of the tips we’re going to talk about in this article.
Don’t Forget That Money Talks
Some would argue that money is the universal language and the real lingua franca of the IT industry, while others would beg to differ, pointing out different things to be essential. Whatever your stance on this subject is, it’s still very important that your employees feel satisfied with the paycheck at the end of the day.
You can’t possibly expect to underpay your staff members and still require them to be highly motivated for the tasks at hand. Even if you have a good connection with your employees and ’loyalty’ is an often repeated word and a huge part of your company’s culture, it’s still pertinent that you pay everyone accordingly. If you fail to do so, rest assured that other firms will take advantage of this and snatch your best people lickety-split.
Nourish the Right Kind of Culture
We’ve touched upon the importance of keeping the company culture at a high level in the previous section, and we’d like to elaborate some more on this topic. First off, any company leader or manager needs to think critically about the type of environment she or he wants to create. There’s a certain art to retaining your best IT staff, since you need to find the perfect balance between multiple things. Paying someone good money is great, but no one likes to work in a toxic environment either.
Making people feel at home is probably one of the best recipes overall for prospering and being successful. Although this can be quite hard to achieve, and each situation is different, there are some things that are universally applicable.
For instance, make sure to organize team meetings where everyone can brainstorm about future projects. Other than this, stay away from cheesy corporate team-building events and focus on building a community of people who can rely on each other to get the work done properly instead. You should also pay attention to your employees’ needs by listening to what’s actually important to them.
Coach and Retrain Your Staff Members From Time to Time
A big part of listening to your employees’ needs consists of giving your staff members a chance to learn new things and grow as human beings. This is especially important in the IT world, where things are changing and happening so fast that it’s fairly easy to lose track of the latest tech trends. For instance, if someone wants to get back to work after a career break or maternity leave, offer them training and an upskilling program that’s going to make this transition go as smoothly as possible.
Other than this, you can also provide your employees with the opportunity to grow and develop in other areas that aren’t strictly related to their jobs. Ask around and see what people in the office are generally interested in. This could be anything from learning a new language to pottery classes. The most important thing to remember here is that you want not only to retain your current staff but to create that much sought-after buzz which can attract and inspire others to join you.
Lead By Example and Be Transparent
Actions speak louder than words when you’re determined enough to create this kind of working surroundings where people want to work with you. This means that you should treat everyone equally. The employees are not your subordinates, but people who work together with you towards accomplishing a certain goal.
And this is why you need to realize that it all starts with you: as a company leader or a manager, you need to be completely transparent and communicate everything clearly. Think about what would be the core values that your business wants to promote and foster, and make sure you stick to these no matter what.
Retaining your IT staff in a competitive environment can be both a difficult and a delicate endeavour. But if you pay your people well, nourish the right kind of culture, offer your employees the chance to grow and learn new things, lead by example, and are transparent at the same time, you won’t have trouble running an efficient operation. It’s all about creating the right kind of mindset and making sure to retain and attract the top talent, regardless of how competitive the IT market is.
About the author:
Michael Deane has been working in marketing for almost a decade and has worked with a huge range of clients, which has made him knowledgeable on many different subjects. He has recently rediscovered a passion for writing and hopes to make it a daily habit. You can read more of Michael's work at Qeedle.