Tips to Retain Your (Tech) Employees

The other day I was reading a white paper that offers tips for how to retain your tech employees.  The paper, prepared by Pluarlsight can be accessed here.  It started out by pointing out the obvious to anyone who works in technology (or is married to someone in technology)…it’s too common and too easy for tech employees to get burned out due to overwork.  You never truly have a day off when you are working in technology, because if something breaks or the network goes down, you are going to be getting a phone call.

The paper then gives a number of tips to help retain your tech employees, but honestly as I was reading it I found the advice they offered to be applicable for almost any employee, but especially for Millennials.  The advice was broken down into five different areas you need to be concerned about if you wish to retain your employees, but I thought that two were key:

  1.  The Work Environment – This not only means addressing the burnout issues (often by hiring another employee rather than working your current employees into a state of exhaustion), but it also refers to the physical environment.  One example of things that you can do away with?  Cubicals!  A December 2013 study found that employees who worked in cube farms are frequently frustrated by the noise level, light and air quality, and with the ability to easily interact with or communicate with fellow employees.  As the current resident of a cube farm, I can tell you those are all frustrations I have.  So think about tearing down the cube walls to foster trust and communication within the department!  Another important aspect of the work environment that should be addressed is your management style; any department that suffers from an inflexible management style or a manager who rules the department with an iron fist is going to drive employees away.  The employment market has improved, especially in the tech sector, and employees have the freedom to pursue other opportunities if their needs aren’t being met with their current employer.
  2. Education – I have discussed this in previous posts, but younger employees need professional development opportunities.  For tech sector workers, a 2013 survey of tech employees rank training opportunities higher than promotional opportunities or good commute distances or corporate culture/values.  It isn’t enough to just give employees the time for training (and making them pay for it).  Continuing education is of vital importance to the tech sector, as technology is constantly changing.  If you want your employees to continue giving you their best, they need the training to keep up with new platforms and procedures.  This is vital to Millennials as well, who do not feel they have the luxury of letting their skills atrophy.  This is a relatively small investment that can reap your company big rewards in the future.

For the remaining tips from this informative whitepaper, check out 5 Ways to Motivate and Retain your Technology Team, and remember that these tips are just as good for non-tech employees.

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