June 5th, 2012
If you cant find em, you better keep em and train em, say three McKinsey consultants writing in their firms eponymous quarterly. In addition to pulling out all the traditional retention stops — competitive salary, recognition, effective career coaching — the McKinsey team found several other approaches that have proven effective in keeping techies in the fold. First, dont get caught in the IT specialization trap. Instead, rotate high performers across tech domains and even into business and organizational functions. Youll be grooming more complete managers and exposing your talent to a broader array of opportunities. While youre at it, make sure top performers get meaningful face-time with senior leaders. Its an “irreplaceable motivator for high-performing technology staff,” McKinsey reports.
Quite some time ago, I believe business professor Peter Capelli identified retention as a possibly bigger problem than hiring. Retention should be within the domain of management’s direct control, unlike the recruiting and hiring process. What steps does your organization take to retain staff? Create exciting opportunities? Provide on going education and training? Rewards? Career path opportunities?