Written by Joanne Sacco

How to Keep Top Tech Talent

With the demand for top-notch tech talent ever on the rise, the last thing you want is to lose one of your valued team members to the competition. Here are six key ways to keep your top tech talent happy and ensure they aren’t tempted to stray towards your competitors.

Make sure they know you appreciate them

You know who your best workers are, but do they? What do you do on a daily or weekly basis to demonstrate how much their effort means to you and the business at large?
There are a plethora of ways to show your employees you appreciate the time and effort they put in. Things like:

  • A simple daily ‘thank you for …’
  • One-on-one ‘good on you’ meetings
  • Public forums such as team or whole-company meetings
  • Digital communications (newsletter, social media etc)
  • Awards (team member of the month, free team lunch, half a day off etc)
  • Social activities (tenpin bowling, team lunches, card night, family events etc)
  • In office services & treats (gourmet lunch delivery, massages, lunchtime games/trivia, ‘theme’ days)

For recognition to be truly meaningful, it’s best to find out what forms employees prefer. It will differ from individual to individual. Some may enjoy the methods mentioned above, while others are simply satisfied by knowing the role they played and the impact they had on the companies ‘big picture’.

Set up a clear career progression pathway – short & long-term

Those in the tech field intimately understand that failing to keep up to date with the latest advances is a sure-fire way to make yourself redundant. That’s why it’s vital your staff have the very best opportunities to continually update and expand their tech skillset. If you can provide that, they’ll be less likely to look elsewhere.
Meet with each team member to formulate a personalised development plan. Include both short and long-term goals. Encourage them to speak about what really excites them. Maybe it’s eventually leading their own team, or moving from support to engineering.
Whatever it might be, put plans in place to ensure they’re travelling the path they’re passionate about. Which brings us to our next point …

Provide regular professional development & training

There’s no better way to keep a tech employee engaged than to help them continually up skill. Your training options are almost unlimited. Consider:

  • On-demand training modules
  • ‘Develop and promote’ from within programs
  • Job shadowing opportunities

You can include a mix of the above but whatever you do, ensure its an individualised training program and regularly reviewed; at least every 3-6 months.

Keep on top of salary and benefit offerings

In such a burgeoning field, it can be tricky staying ahead of the curve when it comes to salary going rates (hot tip: ask us!). But it’s imperative you do.
By keeping on top of salary rates, your talent shouldn’t ever feel like they have to ask for more money (or look elsewhere for more). A competitive salary also demonstrates you value their work; they’re more than just an ‘expense’.
As for benefits, ask your staff what benefits they really want. It’s highly unlikely they’ll say office table tennis or free lunches. Instead, they might reveal they’d be happy to stick around if you could offer more flexibility in their start and finish times, or the chance to work from home one day per week.

Encourage an open work environment

This is perhaps one of the most important retention strategies you can employ. Fostering an open environment where employees feel as if their opinions are welcomed – and their feedback actioned – will help you in all other areas. You’ll know when they’re unhappy or frustrated, be it with salaries, tasks, deadlines or management.
You could take it a step further and invite your tech team to sit in on management meetings to give input into issues that directly affect them.

Look at yourself

There are hundreds – if not thousands – of research studies that have found one of the main reasons people leave their job is because of a bad boss. The tech field is not immune.
Take a look at yourself and critically review your leadership style. Better yet, ask your employees for honest feedback about what is and isn’t working for them when it comes to the way you manage and lead. If you’ve been successful in developing an open culture, you should get some great feedback. It’s then vital to implement it.
Here’s hoping these six retention tips help you create a workplace where your top tech talent thrive and most importantly, stay put when the poachers come calling!
Want to find out our latest tech talent insights including which roles are in highest demand? Grab the 2018 Tech Talent Snapshot here.

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