Employee turnover is incredibly expensive, costing businesses tens of thousands of dollars — and even up to twice an employee’s annual salary. If you’re not thinking about employee retention seriously, you should measure the impact it has on your business. Your people are your most important asset, and hiring new tech talent is tough right now.
While there are many reasons people quit their jobs, we’ve outlined five of the main ones below to help you get started or improve your tech talent employee retention strategy!
Mediocre Compensation and Benefits
A lot of the tech talent workforce (as well as many other non-tech employees) want the ability to work remotely. Generally, someone will take a lower-end job just to have that benefit. Also, if employees are underpaid relative to the market, their responsibilities, or other positions, they won’t stay long. Be prepared to treat tech talent like the “unicorns” they are, and provide them with the salary and benefits they deserve. You need them more than they need you.
“Talent is the multiplier. The more energy and attention you invest in it, the greater the yield.”
– Marcus Buckingham
Lack of Advancement
It’s easy to take great tech talent and top performers for granted. But they will get tired of arguing their positions and being overlooked. If they continually offer new ideas and continually get ignored, they will give up and take their ideas somewhere else. A lack of advancement and opportunities also includes the ability to move laterally within a company — not just up. They want the freedom to try new things and grow.
“I have always believed that the way you treat your employees is the way they will treat your customers and that people flourish when they are praised.”
– Richard Branson
Bad Work Environment
Company culture can make an organization an amazing place to work — or make it toxic. A work environment that doesn’t value its people will do everything but bring out the best in each employee. Employees feed off their environment (not just their physical environment) and will either flourish or flounder depending on the culture surrounding them. Internal politics and negativity kill performance and ultimately drive the best tech talent away. Create an environment that makes people feel safe to voice their opinions, try new things, and share their ideas. Create a community, and watch your employee retention thrive!
“Corporate culture is the only sustainable competitive advantage that is completely within the control of the entrepreneur. Develop a strong corporate culture first and foremost.”
– David Cummings
Good communication is essential to maintaining employee productivity, morale, and happiness. Employees crave transparency and want to know the organization’s overall goals and direction. Establishing open-door policies and sharing information with your team is a start in building trust and offering visibility and availability. Employees whose managers hold regular meetings with them are almost three times as likely to be engaged as employees whose managers do not hold regular meetings.
“To effectively communicate, we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others.”
– Anthony Robbins
Continually ask yourself, “How much is too much?” when it comes to your employees. Good employees often get more and more responsibility and may be asked to do things outside of the norm, like handling big problems over a weekend or being expected to answer management ASAP, even when they specifically asked off. Small projects can balloon into a big mess due to stakeholders or bad project management, which can double or triple the work they need to do, and then they get blamed when the work isn’t working. Employees who feel overworked and undervalued may quit in search of a more balanced opportunity.
“Most of us spend too much time on what is urgent and not enough time on what is important.”
— Stephen R. Covey
It’s unfortunate, but sometimes good employees quit for reasons employers can’t control — their lives or circumstances change and take them in a different direction. Focus on the factors you can control, like the ones listed above, to keep your best tech talent engaged and happy at work. Your most skilled employees are constantly being sought out and recruited by other employers, and retaining and empowering them should be a top priority.