Companies spend a sizable budget on hiring and training employees. Yet, looking at the current tech job landscape will reveal that employees are now switching jobs faster than ever before. So what’s behind this trend? Most companies don’t have proper employee retention practices in place. And, even fewer know the real causes behind employees quitting in such high numbers.
The tech sector faces a unique problem: Employees are moving onto better opportunities just because they can. For the first time, demand for top tech talent is greater than supply. In such a situation, how can you convince your employees to stay?
In this article, we’ll explore the universal desires that every employee wishes for but few tech executives succeed in fulfilling. Following the practices and pro tips laid out here will help your company retain employees better than a sponge retains water. But first, let’s find out why employees are quitting in such high numbers.
Why Are Employees Quitting?
If you ask the experts why employees are quitting en masse, they’ll say it’s burnout. Now that answer may be true, but people often attribute burnout to hard work alone. If that were so, perfectly content people who work 60 hours a week shouldn’t exist. But they do.
Other less commonly known reasons for burnout are continued exposure to workplace stress and toxicity, lack of control over one’s career, unfair management practices, etc. Working at a dead-end job with an overbearing and unfair boss can drain the mental energy out of anyone.
In tech, as of now, employees hold all the cards. They won’t put up with unfair treatment from the management because tech employees have no shortage of options. Plus, tech employees know that their superiors depend on them to do the job. Skilled technical work is harder to replace than any other type of work.
If companies want to retain tech talent, they’ll have to do a little course correction. Outdated practices must be replaced with modern employee retention practices. If followed, these employee retention practices will get your company out of that dreaded employee hiring-rehiring cycle.
5 Employee Retention Practices
Following these five employee retention practices should result in a good outcome for workers, managers, and owners.
1. Offer Competitive Salaries
Nowadays, most tech workers believe quitting is the best way to get a raise. That might be the case for now, but job hopping wouldn’t always be practical.
Instead of waiting for the job-hopping trend to subside, you can work proactively to retain employees by offering competitive salaries from the start and giving periodic salary increments.
Preferably, you should give raises based on performance and not only when employees request them. In essence, reward employees who make your company more money.
Also, competitive compensation isn’t always about money. You can reward employees by giving them more free time, allowing them to choose their shifts, or offering them wider medical coverage. You can make tech talent feel appreciated with these measures.
Make a table charting each employee’s starting salary and work hours. Then, add modifiers like experience, efficiency, and good customer reports. Each year, reevaluate the table for each employee and give out “surprise” raises.
2. Sticking to the Employees’ Job Descriptions
Every employee in your company must have a clear vision of their roles and duties. Managers shouldn’t hold employees accountable for anything that isn’t in their job descriptions.
Likewise, it’s unfair to keep staff at the office for overtime against their will or to make them sit in meetings that drag on endlessly. As much as lengthy meetings waste company resources, it also gets in the way of employees using their time more productively. Besides, most companies could save a lot of time by sending emails instead of calling meetings.
Furthermore, if an employee shows promise, you should renegotiate his/her contract. Offering employees a raise and more responsibilities encourages them to perform even better.
Create two lists for each position. The first should be the core job obligations. The second should be auxiliary actions, including meetings, calls, and other activities outside the core obligations.
3. Focus on Productivity, Not Dedication
For most employees, working from home was a blessing in disguise. During the two years of this, many employees retrospectively realized that their office hours were stressful. That’s why many tech workers are still reluctant to return to the office.
In traditional offices, the appearance of being busy is often more important than getting results. As such, if an employee does his job in half the time, you should reward them with free time instead of piling on more work.
Most tech specialists work fast and are focused on getting results. A smart manager will nourish their employees’ focus over anything else and allow them free time if they’re done with the day’s work.
Set up exact ways to measure contributions and reward good work that’s aligned with business goals. By slightly gamifying the workplace environment, you’ll invite the best performers to do even better.
4. Inquire about Your Employees’ Needs
The best way to find out what someone wants is to ask. The same goes for tech employees. In one-on-one meetings with each employee, find out what they expect, need, and like. You must then make a priority table and fulfill as many requirements as possible.
Consequently, the workplace environment will improve, and you’ll save on resources. Then, you can choose to spend those resources on improving employee retention practices.
Make a list of employee retention requirements and assign each a point according to its importance. For example, needs should have five points, expectations three, and likes one. Then, see how many people have matching requirements and tally the score. The request with the most points gets priority, and so on.
5. Keep Information Channels Open
New York City recently introduced a law requiring employers to list the salary range for every job they post. As a result, job applicants will know the compensation and can compare it to those offered by other companies.
For within-the-company communication, you can use instant messaging apps to solve most employee problems. A company-wide communication channel will keep people informed, connected with colleagues, and in touch with management to raise concerns.
Don’t prevent employees from speaking out. Instead, you should nurture an open-door policy where anyone can ask their direct manager anything about the workplace. Without disclosing private information, anything related to the company should be free information for its employees.
Tech employees now find it easier than ever to hop from job to job. This has put managers and business owners in a precarious situation. No company wants to be caught in an endless cycle of hiring and rehiring talent.
What companies need is to improve their employee retention practices. These retention practices will eliminate the biggest cause of quitting among tech employees: burnout. When you adequately compensate your employees, offer them incentives, and a work-life balance, they tend to stick around for longer.
The five employee retention practices that every company should have are: offering competitive salaries, avoiding overburdening employees with a lot of work, giving employees free time when they deserve it, inquiring about their needs and making sure you take steps to fulfill them, and implementing an open-door policy at the workplace.
Learn more about employee relations and similar topics in our FAQ and Resources section below!
Why is it so difficult to get my remote workers back in the office?
Over the past few years, your workers have become acclimated to their remote working arrangement. They like that they can avoid long commutes, dress comfortably at home, and steer clear of irritating people. Use a carrot-and-stick approach to getting workers back in the office. Reinforce the benefits as workers adapt to reverting to an office way of working.
Why is tech talent in Africa in high demand?
Conditions in Africa have delivered an average annual growth rate of 6%. This is due to excellent internet infrastructure and a low cost of living. As such, millions of people flock to work for foreign companies for an excellent salary. This includes many former expats and EU immigrants who also want to move to Africa due to lower living costs.
Should I stop tech talent from leaving my business?
Highly skilled employees that need little training on the job are scarce. As such, invest in retaining them wherever possible to save you from needing to find others with the same skill sets and experience. Only hire employees that need upskilling if you have people with these skills who have time to train them.
How can I create a winning cybersecurity team?
Cybersecurity professionals with extensive experience and expertise are in short supply and, as a result, also costly. For this reason, you’ll need to make your dream team from what you have in-house and look further afield. This could include new hires and third-party outsourcing in some cases. Also, you need to focus on upskilling to enhance the performance of your team.
Why do I need to consider business continuity when hiring employees?
Business continuity is vital to the growth of publicly traded companies that need to report earnings to shareholders. Share price impacts a company’s free cash flow, which is often needed for investment, maintenance, or operational costs. Smooth out sales, share buybacks, and annuities to improve the overall growth of your company.
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