How can CIOs solve the prevailing IT talent retention issues?

IT talent retention

Organizations are always looking for ways to keep their best employees and avoid turnover. Some strategies include providing excellent benefits, work-life balance policies/practices (eg. flextime), and ample opportunities within the company culture that cater to the personal interests of staff members. The challenge of IT talent retention is a significant one for employers, who spend money in order to prevent turnover and maintain high-quality talent.

The latest survey results show that people want more challenging work, better compensation packages, and a greater sense of accomplishment Many employees cited overworking or lack of appreciation as reasons which made them quit their jobs. The challenge of retaining employees varies by age group and region.

Technological researching and consulting firm, Gartner Inc, surveyed 18000 employees across 40 countries and found that only 29% of IT employees possessed a high intent to continue working with their current employer. In Asia, only 19.6% of employees have shown interest to continue working with their present employers. While it is 26.9% in Latin America and 23.8% in Australia and New Zealand the situation is no different in Europe with only 38.8% of IT employees expressing their intent to stay.

The likelihood of IT employees above 50 years continuing with present employers is two and a half times more than those below 30 years of age. A report by Gartner reveals that only 19.9% of employees in the age group 18-29 had an intent to stay as compared to employees in the age group 50-70, whose likelihood of continuing with their present employer was 48.1%.

“While talent retention is a common C-level concern, CIOs are at the epicenter, with a huge chunk of their workforce at risk,” said Graham Waller, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner. “We’ve heard of IT organizations implementing back-to-the-office policies only to face mass resignations and have to reverse course. CIOs may need to advocate for more flexibility in work design than the rest of the enterprise, as IT employees are more likely to leave, in greater demand and more adept at remote working than most other employees.”

One of the most important factors that affect an organization’s productivity and overall business performance is employee retention. A comprehensive program can play a vital role in both attracting new talent while also helping to keep current employees happy, which contributes greatly toward company success.

Reports indicate that a more flexible and human-centric work policy will help reduce attrition and increase performance. As per Gartner’s 2021 survey, 65% of IT employees said that work flexibility will impact their decision of continuing with the organization.

Gartner analysts suggest CIOs use a data-driven approach for identifying workers who are most at risk and most valuable. This approach will help tailor hybrid work policies to keep such employees engaged and high-performing.

As per Gartner, CIOs need to rethink their outdated assumptions about work that are unnecessarily limiting, causing dissatisfaction among employees and use a human-centric work model that will improve talent and business outcomes.

“CIOs who adopt a human-centric work design will out-hire, out-retain and out-perform those that revert back to industrial-era work paradigms,” said Waller.

Below are a few tips from Gartner to overcome the challenges of employee retention using the human-centric work model.

  • Allow flexible working hours: This will allow people and teams to do their tasks when they are most productive, which can depend on how each employee chooses his schedule! For example, the four-day workweek has been a big success for many progressive enterprises.
  • Promoting a hybrid working model: The pandemic shattered the belief that employees can only get real work done in an office with managers watching them. Discarding office-centricity, most organizations now plan for a hybrid future, recognizing remote working patterns coupled with an increased focus on head down tasks, while offices can be used as a place to foster human connection and collaboration.
  • Using collaborative tools: Meetings are an integral part of any company. With the evolution of technology, virtual meetings are gaining popularity. Various collaboration tools are enabling distributed decision-making, collaboration and creativity.

Organizations that fail to focus on employee retention and turnover reduction can suffer significant blows not only in terms of the hard costs related to finding, recruiting, onboarding, and training replacements but also lost productivity. The importance of employee retention cannot be overstated; it’s crucial for any business looking at increasing its competitive edge by retaining top talent.

Also read: Is proactive customer service doing more harm to your business than good?

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