4 Ways to Make Tech Employees Want to Work

June 21, 2016

11:03 am

The younger side of the workforce is notorious for job-hopping. In a shaky economy, they can’t be sure how long they’ll stay employed anyway, and if they give themselves a pay raise for each new job, their wage goes up a lot faster than it would if they stay in the same place.

Responding to a talent shortage in the tech sector specifically, employee feedback software company Quantum Workplace decided to create a study digging into the factors at work. Here are the four major elements that tech companies need to consider in order to retain talent.

1. Positive Work Environments for All

This point focuses on those who might not get the same environment as others: A focus on recognition and communication is a must, and this need meshes well with a focus on diversity initiatives. As Quantum puts it:

“The attrition rate of women in technology roles is a good example of why employers need to be checking in early and often. Despite many programs created to boost female representation in the industry, nearly half of all women leave IT before achieving management roles. Even though women make up 59 percent of the US labor force and almost 51 percent of the US population, they represent just 15.6 percent of the technology employees at Apple, Google, Microsoft, Facebook, and Twitter.”

Under the same point, the study points out that minority representation is low, too, with percentages of black and Hispanic employees in the low single digits at several major tech firms. And anyone who feels unrepresented will have no incentive to stick around: To retain talent, you’ll need to give the talent an inclusive workplace.

2. Trustworthy Leaders

The numbers behind employees’ need for a high-quality, capable, honest manager are clear. But some companies don’t know it.

The study explains that around one third of companies say the manager’s ability “weighs heavily” on a worker’s decision to leave or to stay. Ask the employees, however, and that number grows to 43 percent. If you’ve ever worked with a non-communicative or self-interested manager, you’re probably in that 43 percent, too.

3. Employers Who Help Them Stay Competitive

When companies are trying to retain talent and attract employees, helping to them stay current and competitive (which gives them the ability to leave more easily) almost seems counter-intuitive. But it shows trust. And it proves that a company really does have its employees interests at heart. Help your employee to grow, and they’ll never want to leave. Growing is particularly essential in the fast-paced tech world:

“Tech employees are also attuned to how rapidly their fields are evolving. The skills they were hired for are likely to become obsolete—if not antiquated—in just a matter of years. Increasingly, they will gravitate toward organizations that are serious about ongoing learning and development. “

4. Employers Who Foster Collective Innovation

A company-wide focus on growing, learning, and adapting is just as important as the same focus on an individual level:

“Investing in tomorrow’s demands goes beyond individual incentives, particularly for Millennials. They want to know they are in a place where everyone is looking forward collectively and being given the proper tools to do so. According to a 2014 Deloitte survey, 78 percent of workers in this age bracket were strongly influenced by how innovative a company was when deciding if they wanted to work there. For them, employee skill wasn’t the chief determinant, but rather ‘management attitudes.'”

Career coaching, consistent feedback, and managing expectations never hurts in the unending quest to best retain talent. As long as a company is genuinely committed to staying current and staying sharp, they shouldn’t have a problem keeping the best tech talent around.

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Adam is a writer with an interest in a variety of mediums, from podcasts to comic books to video essays to novels to blogging — too many, basically. He's based out of Seattle, and remains a staunch defender of his state's slogan: "sayWA." In his spare time, he recommends articles about science fiction on Twitter, @AdamRRowe

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