OPS – The Specialists Within

Investing in the best business strategies, software solutions, and technological processes is vital to the sustainability of any business. However, retaining critical employees and specialists, especially IT teams, is a much more important factor contributing to our business’s long-term health and success.

Our tech professionals are currently ranked the fourth-happiest professionals (after marketing, HR, and legal fields). They also hold the fourth position for most excited professionals about their work and often the least stressed professionals.

However, subsequent studies have shown that keeping our employees happy (no matter the workforce size or industry) is vital to increased product sales, satisfied happy co-workers, customer fulfillment, and effective succession planning. In contrast, failing to keep our critical specialists, especially our tech professionals, is costly and dangerous to our organization’s bottom line.

For instance, having recurrent disgruntled employees can create problems such as wasted time invested in hiring, recruiting, and training new employees, excess job duties, and insecure co-workers. Subsequently, the cost of replacing individual employees may range from one-half to two times the annual salary of employees (which is even a conservative guess)

For instance, organizations with a 100-person workforce and offering an average salary of $50,000 may have turnover and replacement costs of about $660,000 to $2.6 million per year. Furthermore, Gallup research shows disengaged employees cost over $450 to $550 billion in lost productivity every year due to high nonattendance and poor performance. For senior or critical specialist positions, the cost of hiring a headhunter may push that expense as far as a third of that position’s annual salary.

Why do employees leave?

We must also never forget that our people and their productivity are creators of intangible assets such as copyrights, patents, intellectual properties, trademarks, brands, and R&D. Our people are also essential contributors to stakeholder and profits value. It is these human assets we have that can also differentiate and make our firms stand out from the competition.

However, knowing how to keep employees happy starts from understanding the root causes of why employees decide to leave.

Studies show that managers and supervisors are leading reasons why people leave their current positions and companies. This core reason often pairs with any of the employee complaints we listed below:

  • No clarity about earning potential
  • Lack of feedback about performance
  • Unclear expectations
  • Failure to hold scheduled meetings
  • Inability to provide a framework within which employees can perceive their success.

Looking at the enormous cost, time, and effort dealing with high employee turnover, there is no doubt that employee retention matters. Knowing the consequences, we have created this guide to help IT managers implement excellent retention strategies to keep their IT teams happy and engaged.

However, regardless of the consequences, let us look at implementing a great strategy to retain employees. But first, we must look at the wholesome benefits of retaining employees, especially members of our IT workforce.

Benefits Of Making IT Specialists Happy and Engaged.

Happy employees offer their best to organizations

Employees are the face of our organizations. When they are happy, they will proactively seek opportunities to deliver 100 percent of their skills and talents to the organization. In contrast, an unhappy employee may spread negative words about the organization and may not give their best, leading to unsatisfactory performance. This, in turn, leads to customer and employee churn, low profits, and unachievable performance targets.

Employees are the foundations of a solid and robust organization

No matter the level, our employees’ dedication, commitment, emotional connections, and strength are essential fundamentals to the growth of our organization. Therefore, although it isn’t easy to quantify in monetary value, happy employees can yield excellent customer reviews and help foster customer loyalty.

Employees make a notable difference

Happy employees can go the extra mile to meet customer’s demands, brainstorm for new and innovative products, and put tremendous effort into meeting the company’s objectives. In turn, these lead to exceptional customer experience. This is confirmed by Temkin Group’s 2016 report, which shows that customer experience has one-and-a-half times as many engaged employees as customer experiences’ slackers’.

They are knowledgeable assets

As said earlier, the most prominent and irreplaceable factor that employees bring to the table is their skillset. These include their training and developing programs, experience in a specific field, an understanding of IT systems, culture, and procedures. Their training and skillset will be the underlying fuel that accelerates our business growth. It can also influence their ability to make crucial decisions at work, therefore positively driving our organization’s bottom line.

Engaged Employees drive higher shareholder value and returns

Although not widely acknowledged, research shows an economic connection between employee satisfaction and company financial performance. Further research in 2017 also indicates that underlying improvements in employee engagement can improve financial prospects for a company and even better stock performance.

Therefore, happy employees give rise to satisfied customers, and in turn, happy shareholders. All these can better our organization’s financial performance all around.

Ways To Create An Atmosphere That Promotes Employee Retention

Understanding the importance of keeping our employees happy and engaged is one thing; ensuring that measures are in place to bring those wishes to reality is different. Here are tips to make the most impactful change and reinvent the employee culture to help IT managers create a caring and supportive environment for their IT teams.

Create transparent Expectations

We must ensure that employees understand what we expect from them. Constantly changing expectations may create unhealthy stress in the workplace. Rapidly changing expectations will limit the creativity of our IT specialists and influence their ability to make crucial decisions on the job.

Subsequently, it is also important to provide concrete feedback about performance and offer a framework that our IT specialists can perceive when they succeed.

Opportunities for Brainstorming and Creative Thinking

We must also allow our specialists to brainstorm and maximize their skills and talents. Motivated employees are even willing to contribute to avenues outside of their specific job description.

We can also better our work environment by actively soliciting these ideas. That way, we create an environment that supports innovation, where our IT specialists can think outside the box, criticize freely, and make substantial additions. This will, in turn, help us attain continuous improvements in our products/services, processes, and operations.

Reinvent the Organizational Structure and Culture

Implementing organized systems with more transparent policies, visions, missions, and culture will ensure that our IT teams and specialists do not fulfill their responsibilities on a trial and error basis. This, in turn, will help them approach their job duties with better self-confidence.

Offer Environments for Learning

Studies show that the skillset of employees accounts for 85% of the company’s assets. Furthermore, subsequent research shows that creating opportunities to learn new things is vital to keeping our IT teams happy and engaged.

Therefore we must make training an essential part of our organization’s foundational structure to help our employees become more successful in their current positions and lead to advancements.

These opportunities will help them take on challenging tasks, try out new things, and experience diverse growth opportunities. Our team members need to know it is okay to take intelligent risks and exercise their problem-solving minds. In contrast, lack of growth opportunities will make them stagnate, leading to resentment about their present positions and firm.

Overall, providing opportunities for training for our IT teams will help them stay up to date against the ever-growing issues of cybersecurity, satisfy recommendations for performance appraisals, improve their skills and knowledge, improve workplace efficiency, and show employees that they are valued.

Show Appreciation with Equitable Fairness

Providing constructive feedback on performance and giving rewards is also an excellent way to keep our IT specialist teams happy. It can equally drive greater customer service interactions and set examples for other employees, further inspiring them to go above and beyond to deliver the best.

However, we must also thoughtfully and carefully implement that rewards such as bonuses, monetary rewards, and thank-you gifts. The goal is to prevent creating slighted employees and unhealthy competition, which can negatively affect the entire workforce.

These measures should pay attention to their skill set, abilities, expertise, knowledge, and experience. All these are intangible and invaluable assets that are vital to the pace and growth of our organizations. When employees feel valued, they will happily compete and challenge themselves to help our business beat the competition.

Invest In Productive and Efficient Systems

Invest in advanced technological tools and protocols that can make our employees’ work easier and efficient. These tools should also foster collaboration and transparency.

They should also help teams strengthen their skills and strengths towards success. This will further improve their performance and help them collaborate and work more effectively and efficiently.

Make Leadership Relatable

As said earlier, supervisors and managers are among complaints made by disgruntled and leaving employees. First, we recommend that supervisors and managers be actively trained in organizational leadership. This will enable them to understand the strengths and weaknesses of different tech professionals and make effective plans to foster the organization’s effectiveness.

Secondly, we also need to foster interactions between our employees and leadership. There should be opportunities for employees to offer critical feedback to the leadership and feel heard. They should also be praised appropriately and made to feel that they are sufficiently making a difference. Good managers who create a caring, healthy, and supportive work atmosphere will help foster business success.

Support Work-Life Flexibility

IT teams especially work for long periods, making burnout a constant danger. To sustain a vibrant atmosphere around our IT environment, we must encourage our staff to take breaks regularly. It is also essential to provide excellent vacation packages alongside flexible benefit options.

All these will, in turn, help our IT teams feel good about working with the organization.

Promote Collaboration and Camaraderie

We must also bear in mind the need to create a FUN work environment. A fun work environment isn’t about having parities but about making sure employees feel fulfilled, unique, and challenged to engineer the next big events, including products, projects, and lots more.

These environments should also promote positive work relationships with holiday gatherings, group lunches, and team bonding events.

Concluding Thoughts

Subsequent studies at the University of Pennsylvania discovered that businesses spending 10% of revenue on capital improvements only saw 3.9% rises in productivity. In contrast, businesses spending 10% on their employees witnessed an 8.5% rise in productivity.

There is no doubt that the workforce (especially IT specialists) is the backbone of any organization.

Their contributions cover everywhere from performance to productivity and continuity. Our people are incredibly vital to the company’s bottom line. Therefore, when we empower our people, we are making a vested interest in the growth and future of our organization. In today’s workplace, where creativity and innovation are vital to succeeding in the volatile marketplace, little improvements in how we treat our people can save money, time, and effort. It can also become the single-driving transformative force for remarkable wins.

Focusing on our people is an excellent way to transform our organizations for the better.