How well identified is your IT staff with the rest of the organization? Do you know? If you want to keep them at your company, you’d better find out.
How you prevent IT staff from walking out the door was the basis of the research paper IT Employees’ Organizational Identification: Examining its Antecedents and Impact on Turnover by Yu Tong of the National University of Singapore and Hock-Hai Teo, Xinwei Wang, and Xue Yang of Nanjing University.
The team discovered that in non-IT organizations, turnover rate of technology professionals can be directly correlated to the relationship they have with the organization overall. The closer the relationship, the lower the turnover rate. Conversely, if IT employees believe their company doesn’t value the IT department’s strategy, they’ll move to another organization.
This can happen in a multitude of ways. For example, IT employees could only socialize with other IT employees. In that case, they identify more with their department than the organization as a whole. Or the organization doesn’t invite the IT department into business decisions. Then they don’t feel wanted or needed.
To avoid these traps, management needs to design jobs so there’s more boundary crossing requires interaction between IT and other departments. Require job rotation or just expose IT staffers to other units. If they build friends outside of IT, their loyalty to the organization will increase.