Would it surprise you to learn that the average tenure for today’s IT professional is just 3.8 years? In the tech sector, it’s not just finding great people that’s a challenge – keeping them is also a challenge. Competition for talent continues to be fierce, and companies are pulling out all the stops to lure top performers to their organizations. Now is the time to start focusing on why your best employees are leaving and developing strategies to keep them with you.
The Top Reasons Employees Leave
According to a survey of over 3,000 workers, there are some common reasons why great people leave their employer:
- 45% cite lack of career advancement opportunity
- 38% seek better work-life balance
- 37% said they worked for a poor manager
- 36% felt they were overlooked for promotions
While some people are on the hunt for more money, tech leaders cannot overlook these common themes. If you want to address turnover among your team, you must address these possible sources of dissatisfaction among your best employees.
Study Your Managers Closely
There is an old adage in HR: People don’t quit jobs; they quit their bosses. Before overhauling anything else, take a good look at your managers. Do some managers tend to lose more employees than others? Dig into the numbers and find out which managers struggle to retain talent and go back and look at their former employees’ exit interviews. Some people aren’t comfortable talking about a poor manager, but some people are quite comfortable doing so and may cite that manager as the reason for their departure. Study managers’ performance and develop a coaching plan to get them on track, or, develop a plan to part ways with them and hire someone who will develop talent rather than drive it away.
Create Paths For Advancement
The number one reason why tech talent leaves a job is lack of advancement opportunity. Driven professionals don’t want to stay in the same role forever, and if they don’t see a path for growth with you, they’ll seek it out elsewhere.
Remember that advancement doesn’t necessarily mean management. Build pathways for people who want to grow but want to remain individual contributors. Develop opportunities to cross train in new responsibilities, learn new skills, tackle new projects and increase their earnings.
Support Work-Life Balance
Tech pros expect to work long hours and they expect to have a great deal of responsibility. However, they also want to have fulfilling personal lives. If people feel like they must choose between work and family, work will lose the battle.
Flexibility can be achieved in a number of ways. Allow people to telecommute just a few times a month, adopt flexible shifts, or simply relax your policies on asking for time off. You can also help people feel stronger balance by allowing them to truly be off when they are at home. Set boundaries, develop clear lines of communication for the on-call team, and utilize backups for people who are off sick or on vacation. Every employee deserves the chance to unplug in their off hours.