IT teams can struggle to deliver the right level of service without an effective talent retention strategy. There are two threats to talent recruitment and retention in IT: Brexit and a healthy economy.
The EU referendum results have created a unique and worrying threat to the technology and IT sector. Whereas, the economy staying relatively strong over the last few years has made it easier for employees to job-hop and change careers with more ease than was possible during the recession. During the last few years, the IT and tech sector have been trying to fix a skill shortage, which some fear will get worse if the UK leaves Europe.
The Impact Of Brexit On The IT Sector
Brexit may change that since prolonged uncertainty is not something the business community is equipped to handle for too long. There are several ways Brexit has created this uncertainty, especially when it comes to talent acquisition and retention. The IT and technology sector benefits from an influx of European talent, from Europe and EU graduates of British universities. Both sources of new staff are currently in jeopardy, at least until the government clarifies positions in readiness for Article 50 negotiations.
As most business owners know the EU currently provides hundreds of millions worth of funding, for everything from SME growth projects to graduate and apprentice employment schemes. Whether the government will fund at EU levels after current programmes have ended is a serious cause for concern and speculation. Business organisations can lobby to push for government commitments on these issues. But in the meantime, IT departments and companies need to factor these uncertainties into their thinking and work harder to recruit and retain the best teams for their needs and clients.
How To Reduce IT Team Employee Churn
#1: Provide the Right Resources
For in-house IT teams, there is nothing worse than trying to deliver in line with service level agreements (SLA’s) without the right resources. Software and systems don’t need to be expensive, but they should handle the relevant workloads and IT support ticket volumes. IT teams also benefit from procedures that make it easier to communicate with other departments, to ensure that everyone is on the same page and knows what service standards to expect.
#2: Continuous Training Programmes
IT and technology is constantly evolving. Your IT team needs to keep pace with industry standards, new software and practices. Invest in their knowledge and skills, to give them another reason to invest in your business.
#3: Rewards & Praise
IT is often considered back-office, thereby out of sight, out of mind for most departments. And yet, how many could function for long without IT services, software and expertise? Most businesses depend on digital solutions, for everything from sales to finance, HR and customer service.
Make sure your IT team feels appreciated. Send an email saying thank you once in a while. Praise them in a team or board meeting. Whenever possible, give them other rewards, such as Amazon gift vouchers, an early finish on a Friday, and performance-based bonuses, to show they are valued.
#4: Be Honest About Career Progression
Large IT teams or companies can offer career progression and advancement. That isn’t always possible in small enterprises. Make sure your IT team members know this before they join. Be honest with them, which is also a useful opportunity to see if they are a good long-term fit for your company. Replacing staff is time consuming and expensive, which can be avoided at the recruitment stage.
#5: Review Current IT Strategies
For companies with in-house teams, it is always worth reviewing whether your IT needs are better met with an external partner. Ask yourself, is the current team delivering the kind of value we would want from a third-party vendor? Is this a cost we should be shouldering ourselves? Could we access talent with more skills and experience from another source?
Taking this review further, think about where your company wants to be in the next 3 - 5 years. What role does technology play in your growth plans? Could you get better value from working with a partner who can support an expansion strategy? Outsourcing is always an option worth considering, especially when IT firms are more equipped than ever to scale with their partners and create digital strategies that can use software and IT skills to take a business forward to another level.