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How To Improve IT Employee Retention During “The Great Resignation”

There’s been a significant increase in employee resignations for the past few months. People are quitting their jobs like never before all around the globe! It seems the pandemic pushed everyone out of their comfort zones, causing this massive wave of work/life changes. With an all-time high record of 4.3 million people leaving their jobs, IT employee retention has become more crucial than ever. Let’s dive into The Great Resignation and how you can avoid it from taking a toll on your business.

What is The Great Resignation? How does it affect IT employee retention?

First things first, let’s take a look at what the Great Resignation really is. This is the name used to refer to the incredible surge of multiple resignations both in the US and all across the world. By the end of July 2021, there were 10.9 million open jobs and this trend doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. As of today, the labor market is facing an unprecedented crisis.

(Chart: Culture Amp – Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor)

Even more, 55% of US workers said they are actually planning on looking for a new job in 2022. Most of them also mentioned that flexible working hours and remote work placements are now their priority. This shows The Great Resignation is bound to continue, so employers need to adjust their tactics if they want to find quality talent for their companies. 

Why IT employee retention is important now more than ever

People are quitting their jobs at an unprecedented rate, so there’s bound to be a shortage of talent in the upcoming months. In fact, the shortage is here already. The Labor Department reported the labor market only added 235,000 positions out of an expected 720,000 new hires. This shows a clear hiring issue in our economy, one that’s likely to persist throughout 2022. 

Because of this, IT employee retention has become an absolute necessity to ensure work continuity and steady company growth. Considering that the tech industry saw a 4.5% increase in multiple resignations from 2020 to 2021, retaining qualified software developers should be one of the highest priorities of any US tech company. That’s why at Next Idea Tech we decided to dedicate a post to the best IT employee retention strategies. Keep reading to learn how to dodge The Great Resignation!

IT employee retention strategies

#1 Offer your software developers a work-from-home opportunity.

Software developers want a job that fits with their preferred work style and most productive hours. That’s why remote software development is such a popular IT work settlement! Ever since the pandemic started, many people have discovered that working from home actually suits them best. This is especially true for tech-savvy jobs that can be done 100% remotely without affecting the quality of any deliverables. If you force your software developers to go back to the office, chances are you’ll have multiple resignations to deal with. Give your IT employees a chance to work from home or at least present them with a hybrid work placement if you want to improve IT employee retention.

#2 Reward your IT employees for their hard work. 

Everybody likes to see that their work is appreciated. A team of software developers who know their efforts are valued is a team that’ll stay motivated in the long term. In fact, a recent survey showed employees find that recognition programs correlate with their engagement and motivation levels. This means that rewards and recognition can help boost your employee engagement rates. Therefore, to avoid getting caught by The Great Resignation, try implementing a recognition program with rewards like extra PTO, small gift cards, personalized thank you notes, and unique team hangouts. 

#3 Encourage creativity and innovation when it comes to coding solutions.

It’s no secret that software developers love innovating. Truth is, coding requires a ton of technical creativity. While this is not the same freedom of expression seen in music or theater, there’s still a high degree of creative thinking involved. So don’t turn programming into a routine task and let your IT employees innovate with their coding solutions. This can range from allowing creative methods of performing a certain task to hosting weekly hackathons for your software developers to innovate together. 

#4 Avoid falling into passive leadership. 

We all know the benefits of having a strong leader in a company, one that can motivate employees and keep things afloat. But we need to talk about passive leadership, as this kind of behavior only contributes to The Great Resignation. So what is passive leadership? This is the type of leadership characterized by not taking action and ignoring feedback when things go sideways. According to a study by Rutgers University, a passive leader can negatively impact workplace safety, team motivation, workplace cooperation, the mental health of its employees, and even lead to multiple resignations. So, to improve IT employee retention, scan your company for any passive leaders and take action as needed. 

#5 Ensure opportunities for professional development.

No one will stick around in a company for the long term if there’s no career advancement on the horizon. To ensure IT employee retention, you need to provide your software developers with growth opportunities. Make it clear to them that your company is a place where they can develop as professionals! You could create a corporate career advancement program that includes educational resources, promotion opportunities, and training conferences. For example, at Next Idea Tech, we offer English lessons and online courses to all of our software developers.

#6 Build trust with your remote software development team. 

Building trust with your software developers is not only important to improve IT employee retention, but also to create a functional work dynamic and boost productivity levels. This is especially true if you’re working with a remote software development team, as establishing a solid relationship with your employees can be trickier at a distance. Lucky for you, we have an extensive article on how to build trust when working with distributed teams. Give it a read and put a few of those strategies in place to avoid getting caught in The Great Resignation. 

#7 Be receptive to your software developers’ feedback. 

People are quitting their jobs more than ever, and not feeling heard can definitely tilt the scale to the wrong end. If your company wants to implement a few IT employee retention strategies, then take this one as a must-do. You need to provide ways for your software developers to give you constructive feedback on a regular basis. This can be done by establishing a clear line of honest communication from the get-go or by distributing quarterly feedback surveys – it’s really up to your preference. Just make sure your employees know you value their opinions to avoid having to deal with multiple resignations in the future. This will also boost employee engagement!

#8  Make your IT employees’ well-being a priority.

In the middle of a global pandemic and amid The Great resignation, employees expect companies to take both their mental and physical health seriously. And according to this survey, employers have also made it one of their top priorities. If you want to improve your IT employee retention, then you need to ensure your software developers that their mental health is a priority. It doesn’t matter if you’re implementing remote software development, respect when people take a sick day or a mental health day off. Stick to boundaries and make it clear that your employees’ well-being is important for your company. 

#9 Have a clear team and brand identity to support IT employee retention. 

Employee engagement and satisfaction are usually higher when the focus is on building brands and teams instead of just working for the sake of it. You need to give all present and future employees an insight into both the mission and vision of the company. This will make them motivated to be part of your business and excel at their position. If your software developers know why and what they’re working towards at a larger scale, instead of just solving code without a clear brand identity, you’ll see an improvement in your IT employee retention rate. So get clear on your brand identity and communicate it to your employees as soon as possible.

Are you looking for software developers to join your company? We can find the right IT employees for you!

That’s everything you need to know about IT employee retention in the era of “The Great Resignation”. This post-COVID exodus of employees might have taken many US tech companies by surprise, but it’s not too late to take action and retain your software developers. And if you’re looking for new coders to fill any vacant positions, we can help you find them! At Next Idea Tech, we offer staff augmentation and direct placement services for any US business looking for nearshore developers. Schedule a consultation with us to learn how we can help you find the right coders to join your company! 

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Posted on

October 22, 2021