The Importance of IT Retention
December 10, 2013
IT managers are logging the same complaint over and over: they cannot seem to retain their top staff for as long as they’d like, and their offices are suffering for it. Retaining your top talent saves you money (as you do not have to spend money on hiring, training and onboarding a new employee) and time, maintains equilibrium within your staff and helps you achieve your goals more efficiently. Small changes can increase your employees’ loyalty and boost the morale of the team so that you can all operate optimally.
Promote frequently. Establish guidelines that are lofty yet achievable, and make these very clear to your staff. Encourage them to be high-achieving, and reward them with additional responsibility, bigger clients, or a new role. Be sure to keep these promotions fair and available to all who work hard for them.
Give praise freely. As you get to know your employees, determine how best to praise them when the time comes. Individuals who are painfully shy, who flush bright pink at even the thought of a conversation involving more than one or two people, will not benefit from you making a big production at a staff meeting. And, that high-achieving, grandiose personality the next office over would likely appreciate public praise rather than a private accolade. One of the biggest benefits of knowing your staff well knows how to praise them when it is appropriate, and this will go a long way in terms of creating loyalty.
Be supportive of and united with workers. Stand behind the people you have hired, and they will be much more likely to follow your leadership long-term. Having the unwavering support of one’s direct manager instills a greater confidence in one’s work, which in turn creates greater pride one’s performance.
Feed them! It sounds simple, but serving your employees food on the house creates companionship. (In fact, the etymology of “companion” indicates that the word truly means, “with bread,” or “bread fellow”–companions are those with whom we break bread.) As Ezra Pound wrote in “Canto XCIII,” people are “easier to convert after you feed ‘em,” Team building exercises absolutely do not have to involve a ropes course or a trust fall. No, a trust-building exercise occurs each time you and your employees share a table for a meal. Create a plan that works for your budget. For example, some of our clients treat their staff to weekly lunches, keep a stocked fridge of energy drinks, use their company break room to cook breakfast once a quarter, or go to extremes with an infamous cereal bar that has every type of cereal you could ever desire!
Allow them some freedom in their schedule and work flow (within reason.) Focus on the end result rather than the minute by minute details. Trust your employees enough to allow them to complete their duties unencumbered by unnecessary micromanaging. For roles requiring heavy concentration, make sure your staff takes a 10-15 minute break every couple of hours. This will actually increase productivity in the long run! Additionally, if you can, offer 1-2 days of working remote or at least a flexible work time schedule. These two perks are extremely important to staff! In fact, sometimes the ability to work from home part of the time or the ability to create their own begin and end times is more important to staff than their compensation!
Preserving the talent on your team is one of the most important ongoing tasks of a manager, and it can get tough sometimes. But whether your focus is on retaining the top members of your team or scouting fresh blood for your company, we can help you achieve your goals and grow your business. Contact us today to create a plan for success!