The key to any good company and the common denominator for all successful companies are its employees. Particularly in a demanding market for IT talent, employee retention is more important than ever. In this blog we’ll be examining data and trends on retention, then offering tips for keeping your top IT talent where they belong.

In order to really understand employee retention we should first look at the top drivers for employee attraction. Towers Watson, a leading global professional services company, conducted a study to find out just that. They asked employees to choose from a list of top factors that are most important to them when joining a company, and separately asked employers what they believed to be the top issues driving employee attraction.bus binoculars

According to employers, they believed the three main issues most important when attracting talent were career advancement opportunities, base pay/salary, and challenging work. Employees, when asked to rank the top factors, listed base pay/salary, job security, and career advancement opportunities as their most important.  So what they found was that while there was some alignment between the employee and employer views, in what attracts talent, there was also some divergence.

When asking those same groups to choose from a list of top drivers of what’s most important for employee retention, it became clear that both groups were in agreement on what the major factors for retaining employees were. Both the employers and employees named base pay/salary and career advancement opportunities as the top two factors for staying with a company.

So what can we glean from this information? It’s simple, pay and the opportunity to advance one’s career are considerable driving factors in retaining an employee.

But what else can be done to keep an employee on staff? Here are a few tips to keeping your best on payroll:

Express Clear Expectations: We’re seeing more and more expected and demanded from our IT employees. The many different hats they’re expected to wear can be daunting. So it’s become abundantly clear that outlining what’s expected from them in a position is vital. If you aren’t making it clear what’s expected from them how can they properly perform and deliver? Clear expectations make everyone’s life easier.

Foster Open Lines of Communication: From the most senior person to the lowest level developer, communication is key. Having an open door policy with employees can help foster communication. However you’re able to achieve it, communication between employees can help set expectations and align everyone on the same page which will ultimately help improve employee morale. A happy employee is less likely to seek other work.

Provide Good Benefits: As has already been stated, base pay/salary is the top factor for both employee attraction and retention. Employee benefits tie directly into this. Having top notch medical, dental and optical, plus 401k and life insurance benefits can be the key to your employees staying put or seeking work elsewhere. If that proves to be too costly, other benefits that are attractive to employees can take the forms of remote work, flexible schedules and even child care.

So while it’s obvious what the best employee retainer is – money – there are other things that can be done to keep your best employees in house.

Did we miss anything? What other strategies might a company use to retain their best employees?

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