Watch out for high turnover! It’s a sure signal you’ve got chronic management problems. In an article for InformationWeek, John Reed mulls over the possible reasons for disgruntled employees who jump ship, despite reasonable pay or benefits. Might your IT be suffering from these concerns?
The Five Furies of IT Staff
- Few opportunities for advancement
- Unmanageable workload
- Few chances to learn new skills
- Not empowered to make decisions
- Don’t see eye-to-eye with the manager
Forty-five percent of survey participants in a study by Robert Half Technologies cited career stagnation as their biggest frustration. Giving associates ways to move-up in house is your best remedy:
To keep IT talent engaged and satisfied, find out their career goals. If they’re interested in management, get them the training, mentoring, and practical experience they need. But if they don’t have the desire or temperament to be a boss, show them what their non-managerial career path could look like.
Workload is another top concern. Because the nature of software development dictates long hours and periods of coding frenzy, it may be tempting to allow “development overdrive” to become the norm. Resist this tendency to generate burnout by fighting tooth and nail for the necessary IT staff.
Perhaps no other industry is so constantly geared for technological flux, and therefore mastering new skills is not optional for your associates. Shadowing experienced staff, receiving company-sponsored education, or enrolling in training and certification programs can free your staff to grow in competence. And micromanagers beware: the correct culture for employee retention involves teamwork, a healthy tolerance for risk taking, and plenty of room for innovating thinking. Thirty-seven percent of those surveyed thought there were too many “toll gates” between them and their work goals.
Managerial conflicts come in at number five. Who hasn’t had a disagreement or perhaps even an altercation with a manager at some point? If you need to make unpopular (but necessary) decisions, be sure to communicate effectively (that means listen well) and make yourself available to staff concerns.