A record 4.5 million Americans quit their jobs in March, according to data released in early May by The Bureau of Labor Statistics.
During a record turnover of staff, IT leaders do their best to keep their teams as intact and productive as possible.
While wage increases remain an extremely effective retention tool, a growing number of employers are sweetening the pot with cheap benefits designed to boost team satisfaction and loyalty.
The non-traditional benefits have been used with some success to retain IT talent, said Jeff Hopkins, director of tax and auditing consulting firm RSM. “The challenge,” he notes, “is to identify and identify those benefits that suit your IT organization.”
Free and flexible
Flexible working hours and remote work are crucial advantages, says Down Duench, human and cultural manager at Igloo Software, a digital workplace technology provider. “Almost all new Igloo Software employees want flexible work, especially IT staff,” she said. “The candidates we interview ask about our position on flexible working during the recruitment process.”
Teleworking or the use of a hybrid model is increasingly seen by IT leaders and hiring managers as an effective way to keep employees happy. “Reducing travel time to work, transport costs and gas costs, while allowing employees to spend more time with their families, allowing them to live where they want… will ultimately lead to increased productivity and dedication. “, Says Daniel Neer, HR manager in workflow automation and developer of Mirato software.
IT is often a job of high pressure, “Enabling [staff] choosing the hours that work best for them shows that we recognize this [fact] and we appreciate everything they do to help us get closer to our goals, ”said Zoe Morris, president of recruitment firm Frank Recruitment Group. “After the implementation of this [policy], we saw nothing but positive feedback – this is another way to show our employees that they trust and are valued. ” Allowing a variety of work opportunities, whether flexible working hours or telecommuting, underscores your commitment to offering employees the kind of flexibility they seek, not only to feel empowered to work, but also to support their well-being, she said.
Other popular benefits
Professional development, especially in the form of IT training and education, can help team members achieve their professional goals while encouraging them to stay in the organization. “Provide on-the-job training or mentoring by a senior manager,” Nir advises. “Thanks to the latest technological advances, there are an unlimited number of free learning resources, podcasts, webinars and online courses.”
Although privileges can help create a positive employee experience that leads to long-term staff retention, they are not a substitute for an environment that preserves knowledge, skills and imagination. “Companies also need to create opportunities for people to develop their careers,” says Duench. “While the benefits cannot compensate for the lack of these key areas, they can add value to the experience of employees and in turn help retain IT staff if there is a strong foundation.”
Milder, Duench recommends rewarding team members with extra free time. “From the beginning of June to the end of August, our employees work only half a day on Fridays and are not expected to compensate for the four hours during the week,” she said. “This is great for work-life balance and mental health, as it provides extra time to reset over the weekend.”
To organize and coordinate bonus programs, Hopkins proposes the creation of an event committee to create and organize various organizational initiatives. “Working with IT staff to establish a culture of trust and value and offering to meet their needs for benefits has led to good results,” he said.
Hopkins believes that the little subtleties, such as “no meetings on Friday;” easy access to snacks and drinks; and sometimes funding small, individual “passionate projects” can pay big dividends in terms of productivity and loyalty. He also recommends providing free time for volunteer and social work, as well as sponsoring success programs and awards.
Team members need to feel that they are working for an enterprise that not only cares about their skills, but values them as human beings. “While benefits shouldn’t be the only way you try to minimize any staff turnover, it’s a proven effective way to get started,” says Morris.
Pay close attention to your team and never take them for granted, says Nir. “Employees have different desires and needs at different times,” he said. “The more you can do to understand what makes them feel valued by giving them the benefits they like, such as flexibility, wellness or professional development, the longer you will keep them around.”
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