When opportunity comes knocking, will your tech employees stay or leave?
With a growing tech talent shortage, the likelihood that your best people will be scooped up by competitors is higher than ever. An employee’s motivations behind such a move are complex, but it’s up to you to get a handle on them in order to beat high turnover. Retaining top talent comes down to one simple question: What do tech employees really want?
A Company They Can Trust to Treat Them Well
No matter what industry or job function, the employer-employee relationship is foundational. A solid relationship means increased loyalty, engagement, and performance; all major factors in a company’s bottom line success. And that relationship is based on trust.
If an employee doesn’t trust their employer, they’re simply not going to stick around. That trust is portrayed when a company can prove it wants to take care of its team members, and this starts first and foremost with ensuring your employees can sustain their standard of living and support their families. That’s why 60% of developers say salary is the most important consideration when looking for a new job.
Competitive IT salaries are just the start. A trusting employer-employee relationship is also fueled by appreciation and acknowledgement, a positive work environment, and regular feedback. Your people need to feel valued for their work.
A Company that Understands the Need for Life Balance
According to a survey of thousands of developers, more than half are looking for work-life balance in their job search. A company’s employer brand, hiring managers and interviewers must effectively communicate the importance of that balance, or else candidates will quickly look elsewhere.
A Dice survey also finds that 75% of tech employees rank work-life balance in their top priorities, but incredibly, 45% claim their current employer doesn’t provide it. A further 27% suggest that work-life balance in the tech industry is a complete myth. With high pressure to innovate, troubleshoot, build, and mitigate risk, it’s true that the tech environment is frequently stressful, and that’s all the more reason why employers need to respond with options that allow for greater balance.
Finally, if you’re hiring tech professionals in a major city metro area, you should know that a massive 88% of tech employees claim that there is not enough housing available, with 46% saying it’s too expensive. Commuting into these cities as an alternative to living closer is also problematic, with 48% citing too much traffic and congestion.
These factors needs to be accounted for when building competitive compensation packages. Companies should also consider remote work options, flexible work hours, and satellite offices in areas of lower cost of living.
A Company that Fosters Professional Development
Professional development is highly important in employee retention. The aforementioned study of developers reports that on the job itself 65.6% value learning new technologies and 58.9% want to build something new. Improving skill sets and tackling new opportunities and challenges is key.
This is especially true for Millennials, who place high priority on the opportunity for professional development and career advancement. That’s why it’s vital to carefully navigate generational differences in tech employment. As a result, you might look into tuition reimbursement, professional development plans, ongoing training, and mentorship programs.
Additionally, identifying and supporting your employees’ personal and professional goals and aspirations is critical. If team members are looking for more challenging projects or opportunities to grow their skill sets, find out how you can assist them in doing just that.
A Company that Sees the Big Picture
Information technology is an easy place to get bogged down in the details. But it’s important to help your employees get perspective and see how they’re making an impact on a larger scale. Technology is frequently the backbone of any organization, and as such, every tech pro is playing an integral role in the big picture.
However, that “big picture” gets even bigger: The best companies are ones that go the extra mile to contribute to their communities. These are companies that address their employees’ concerns and passions, and work to share the responsibility. Whether that looks like participation in charity events, giving initiatives, or awareness programs, consider how you can address the issues that your employees most care about.
Finally, fostering a sense of community in a work culture that mirrors your people’s values is really important. Your employees spend a third of their time in the office, so it should be a place of friendship, support, and shared values in addition to driving high performance.
What do tech employees really want?
Many of these elements apply to all types of functional roles in the workplace. However, it’s particularly important to address these needs in to relation to tech professionals because of the high pressure and high demand they’re facing every day.
The snapshot of it all is that what tech employees really want is competitive compensation, work-life balance, an opportunity to work with cool technology and expand their skill sets, and a company that recognizes their impact on the big picture.