How to Foster Employee Engagement in the Competitive IT Industry
Few sectors are as starved for human resources as the IT industry. With the current tech boom showing no signs of stopping anytime soon, companies often find it difficult to acquire and keep high-quality employees over long periods of time. Worker engagement is a challenge across all industries, but in IT even the best managers can have trouble keeping their colleagues loyal and motivated. Still, some companies experience much smaller turnover rates than others, and show a few commonalities that can point the way forward for employers looking to foster worker engagement and retirement. Here are some of their well-kept secrets:
1. Using cutting-edge employee engagement software
Whereas once upon a time employee engagement was solely within the purview of subjective evaluations, nowadays software is increasingly deployed to help measure employee satisfaction and propose solutions to increase engagement. In fact, Zion Market Research suggests that the global employee engagement software market will be a $346 million industry by 2025. But how does using software help a business exactly? Well, for one it can aid a data-driven decision-making process. Using analytics helps managers gather essential data about employee productivity and satisfaction, and that can help make calls about which manager should lead a specific team or when to reorganize a segment of the business. Additionally, employee burnout can be detected at the onset so that corrective measures can be implemented before a specific worker becomes fully disengaged.
2. Offering unusual perks
By now things such as gym memberships and team building expeditions have become the norm in many industries including IT, but managers will find that they obtain much higher engagement rates if they tailor their offerings to the needs and wants of their employees. Some people may not particularly care about getting a discounted or even free gym membership, but they might treasure the opportunity of receiving advance copies of their favorite games or a chance to win a bigger prize depending on their productivity rates. As always, it is essential that workers be included in the decision-making process. They can help decide which incentives are truly motivating at every step of the way, and thus make their voices heard in the process.
3. Opportunities for growth and development
The days of slaving at your 9-to-5 with little hope for advancement are over. People understandably want to feel like they’re progressing in their respective careers, and research consistently links opportunities for development and growth as being key factors for employee engagement. Despite that, many IT companies still operate without a mentorship program, with employees that are often stuck in their positions and do not feel valued by their employer. A good strategy in this regard would be to offer your employees guidance at every step of the way, as well as opportunities for continued development via online CPD courses and accreditation programs.
4. Foster a good working environment
Despite higher-than-average salaries and plenty of positions available to them, IT professionals generally report lower levels of satisfaction than that of workers in other sectors. While there are many reasons for this, poor relationship with their co-workers and managers is often mentioned as one of the causes. Now, company managers can’t make people like each other, but they can commit to creating a safe space for their employees, one where things such as prejudice and discrimination are forbidden, and collaboration and inclusiveness are encouraged. This process begins with defining an overall company culture and making sure that it fits with the vision of their employees, but it can also extend to flexible hours, remote working arrangements and opportunities for organic team building through various trips and fun exercises.
As you can see, the path towards better employee engagement rates is open to even the most competitive of industries. The IT sector has consistently showered its employees with high salaries and good benefits, but it’s on the human side of the equation that improvements can and should be made. But with the right strategies in place, companies will find that their luck when it comes to finding and retaining quality talent will dramatically increase, thus leading to happier, more productive workers and an improved bottom line.
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