An IT department does not consist of just a bunch of servers and some cabling. It’s really made up of bright, talented people who know a lot about how servers, networks, and applications can be used to propel a business forward. However, not every company and not every IT manager treats their staff the same way – do you think that that matters?
The real question here is how committed to their staff are companies and IT Leaders. Are the members of your team actual people or are they just resources that can be downsized or replaced at any time. In fact, does it really matter which way you choose to look at them?
The good folks over at CIO Insite did a survey of IT Executives awhile back and they uncovered some interesting discoveries.
Quite obviously, not all IT departments are created equal. It turns out that in the foreseeable future most of the hiring is going to be done by small and midsized companies. Given the current economic climate, that’s good news. The other side of the coin is reflected by the larger IT shops which indicated that they will be reducing their IT staff (this includes IBM, Microsoft, and Yahoo).
Where things get interesting is when you take a closer look at who the firms that will be hiring are looking for. They want business analysts, systems integrators, networking staff, and web designers. These appear to be the place to be in IT!
But back to our original topic – what does it take for an IT Leader to get the people that he/she hires to stick around? The CIO Insight survey revealed that just paying more is not enough. It turns out that what you have to do is to place organizational development up at the center of your IT recruiting and retention strategy.
In simple words, what this means is that in order to get your IT workers to stay, you’ve got to offer them things that they want like job security orÃ‚Â work/life balance. Now an important point here is that when I say “job security”, I don’t mean offering a job for life (unless you are at Toyota). Instead, what I’m talking about is having the company invest in the employee and having them develop skills that will serve them well in this job or in their next one.
In order to find out how to keep IT employees, you first have to understand why they leave. The IT Executives surveyed said that staff left for the following reasons:
- better pay / benefits
- opportunity to learn new skills
- reduced commute time
- to work at home or set own work hours
Knowing this, then what can an IT Leader do to get employees to stay? Focusing on improving every employee’s work / life balance is a good place for a company and a leader to start. Keep in mind that the benefits that do the most to boost employee retention are the ones that provide long-term financial and career security.
What have you found keeps you and your staff working at the same company? Why do people seem to leave your company? Why do new employees join your company? What changes do you think should be made to get more people to stay? Leave me a comment and let me know what you are thinking.