Retention’s Not Just About Pay

Among his 2012 talent-management predictions at ere.net, John Sullivan, a former Silicon Valley talent pro and now a professor at San Francisco State University, predicts that  “retention issues will increase dramatically.” It’s a big issue already.

For example, Network World writes companies lamenting the high rate of turnover among young programmers and developers, which spawned a follow-up post based on comments about how to fix that situation.

What do tech pros want? Readers suggest competitive pay, a reasonable work load and the ability to work from home. Those sound pretty basic. But the site also contends that high turnover suggests poor managers are at work.

Meanwhile, staffing pro Tim Sackett, in an article at TLNT, offers one magic bullet: Feedback.

…Creating a culture that is going to deliver consistent feedback in good and bad times — where employees know exactly where they stand (good or  bad) and can engage in the feedback process — will always ensure you have the highest engagement possible for your organization.

And, this post at Resume Bear offers two: communication and ethical leadership.

Create an environment that fosters open communication by encouraging your workers to share their concerns with you, and behaving in a way that assures them that you will NOT hold anything they say against them.

That was Google’s approach to the “manifesto” published by one of its engineers in October.

Though managers are often disappointed when young talent stays only a year or two, I’ve had talent pros tell me that’s becoming the norm—and to stay in a position more than a couple of years when the job duties don’t change suggests lack of ambition. Ouch! Though that sounds like a generational mismatch of expectations.

I’ve also talked to young IT pros who value mentorship and the opportunity to keep learning above all else, even lofty salaries. You can use these characteristics of Gen Y  to groom young talent by investing your attention and expertise to help them develop the skills and career path that will take them where they want to go.

With any luck, that will be within your own organization.

Image Credit: Shutterstock

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2 Responses to “Retention’s Not Just About Pay”

February 08, 2012 at 11:01 pm, Stagnant IT Executive Pay Setting Stage for Exodus? | Dice Blog Network said:

[…] all the concern about retention in IT, it would seem companies should be concerned about keeping those at the top as well. A recent […]

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