The biggest asset of any company is their IT department and their engineering talent. Not only does their ability to function on a daily basis depend on them, but the potential for sustainable growth is in their hands—which means management has to do whatever it takes to retain them. It’s your responsibility to identify them, keep them engaged, and keep them loyal to your company. Here are three non-monetary ideas to retain your top IT and engineering talent.
Find a growth path
Everyone’s looking for a chance to grow and to advance their careers. When your employees can’t find new challenges, they become stagnant. Instead of developing their talents and acquiring new techniques and skills, the abilities they already have will become stale and useless. More than that, employees who aren’t properly challenged become disengaged and unmotivated. Those are the employees you have to worry about—they’re most likely to leave in search of new opportunities.
So figure out a career path for all your employees. Technology and engineering are easy fields to encourage learning in—there are loads of online courses, workshops, and seminars to learn from, not to mention evolving technology to keep up with. But help your employees visualize their next career moves—empower them to develop and manage projects, earn leadership positions, and advance through the ranks.
Most IT and engineering professionals are already pretty passionate about the type of work they do. They’re used to creating new software and procedures, but don’t stop there. Let them fully manage those projects. Allow the accountability to rest squarely on their shoulders. They can oversee the implementation of the programs, streamline for efficiency, and help them evolve. No one is more knowledgeable about the projects or better positioned to make decisions about the well being of those projects than their creators.
Establish a feedback loop
Communicate regularly with your team. Meet one-on-one with your IT and engineering talent in an informal way, at least once a quarter. Once a month is probably better. Be friendly and supportive and award praise. Recognize their efforts and celebrate their successes. And perhaps most importantly, hear their frustrations, concerns, and requests. Their feedback to you is just as important as the feedback you provide them.
And be responsive to their needs and requests. You don’t have to go buy a pool table for the break room just because someone requests it, but if you’re consistently hearing from your staff that they want more flexible working arrangements, for example, provide them. Set the right parameters—they have to come in for collaborative meetings on Thursdays or they have to be reachable by phone or email during the work day—but let them work from home occasionally or choose their own schedules. The weather gets bad, people get sick, and childcare issues arise, show your employees that you’re compassionate and supportive of their situations. They’ll feel respected and valued.
For more tips on retaining your top talent, contact our team today.