In every industry, maintaining high or positive levels of employee satisfaction are incredibly important to building loyalty. But in IT, it is even more crucial to do this especially if you want to secure highly-skilled and experienced individuals. The reason being, the market is competitive.
There are so many IT and development opportunities available, that IT managers, engineers, and workers really have the upper hand. At any given time, someone on your team could leave their current position for an opening that is more appealing or enjoyable, regardless of monetary benefits and pay. It is important to stress that while, yes, salary and wages do play a considerable role it’s not the only contributing factor to a satisfied workforce.
You can’t keep everyone happy, all the time, but you certainly can strive to provide a more engaging, healthy work environment and culture for your employees. In that vein, here some methods you can use to keep your best IT workers under your wing:
Establish a Promotional Environment
When it’s time to hire or fill open positions, especially higher more experienced opportunities, prioritize internal promotions and development. In other words, don’t spend your time hiring from the outside unless there’s good reason.
By developing an upward career trajectory or forward path for your existing employees, you are essentially giving them more reason to work hard and stand out.
Keep Up with Industry Trends
IT (and tech culture as a whole) is experiencing something of a renaissance lately with the frequent admission and proof of diversity and gender issues. Particularly, tech-related industries tend to be male dominated with fewer or less-rewarding opportunities for females and minorities. By acknowledging this happens and combatting it internally — through equal benefits and salaries and more diverse hiring practices — you will build strong loyalty and long-lasting relationships.
Recognize and Reward Good Work
Establish a system that properly recognizes and rewards team members who excel. The idea is not to drown out everyone else, but merely to incentivize those who continually go above and beyond. More importantly, reward frequency is crucial to this strategy as you’ll see better progress by providing regular, smaller rewards than you will by disparate yet large rewards. It could entail awarding small plaques or trophies, monetary or material prizes, holding promotional events, and much more.
Provide Quality Tools
It stands to reason, in an IT environment, your workers will be regularly interacting with a keyboard or computer of some kind. These things — along with the software they frequently use — are their tools or arsenal which help facilitate the kind of projects they must complete. It is on you, as their employer to not only ensure they have the right tools but quality gear.
Don’t shirk on a proper investment just to save a buck, especially if it’s something you know your employees will be using day-in and day-out. Everything from office supplies to computer chairs and furniture should be considered and quality should be prioritized over budget as much as possible.
Understand that Life and Health are Important
Your workers are not robots. If they sit and remain sedentary all day, every day that’s terrible for their health. If they spend every waking hour behind a desk in the office, they’re missing out on valuable time they could be spending with family. As an employer, yes you must balance and prioritize the needs of your company but that doesn’t mean you should neglect your most valuable assets either: your employees.
IT responsibilities and schedules often require much more out of those working in the industry with long shifts or varying conditions. Take time to understand that the personal lives and health of every worker is just as important as the work they’re doing.
Building Engagement is Key
In the end, the most important concept to strive for is a high-level of engagement from all employees. This goes well beyond the nature of their work. Are they positive and happy? How often are they willing to go above and beyond for you? Do they show a desire to move up and take higher-level positions within the company? How long are they willing to remain with your company?
Beyond what’s discussed here you may also:
- Set the example through engaged and motivated management
- Be transparent in all dealings and employee-related changes
- Provide suitable benefits and bonuses for work rendered
- Always recognize employees who work hard even with a simple ‘thank you’
- Conduct worker surveys and questionnaires to find out more from them directly
- Hold events and celebrations with fun, rewarding activities
Building a positive environment with a clear career trajectory for all — well beyond their initial offering — will ensure that your workers not only remain but invest heavily in the company and make it a part of their daily lives.