This may sound contradictory given all the layoffs that have happened this year, but a recent study shows that CIOs will make employee retention a top priority for 2010.
More than 1,400 U.S. CIOs were interviewed for the study, which was developed by staffing firm Robert Half Technology. The survey revealed that as the economy begins to show signs of rebounding from the recession, CIOs are concerned about losing employees as hiring picks up and competitive offers begin to roll in. According to the study, 43 percent of respondents said that retaining existing workers will be their number-one staffing priority next year.
"Technology teams, in particular, are experiencing rising workloads as businesses move forward with projects previously put on hold," said Dave Willmer, executive director of Robert Half Technology, in a prepared statement. "Employers need to focus on preventing burnout and keeping their best people engaged at work. This may be a challenge, given that staffing cuts and the reduction or elimination of benefits have left many employees feeling overworked and undervalued."
Indeed, according to another survey -- this one from talent-management firm Development Dimensions International -- employees are feeling particularly stagnant in their jobs because they're not engaged in what they're doing. That feeling could stem from the layoffs -- especially among technology ranks -- that continue despite signs of an economic recovery. A recent CIOZone roundup of layoffs among technology vendors showed that the bad news isn't over, with Sprint planning to reduce headcount by as many as 2,500 positions by the end of the year and Microsoft planning to add 800 more jobs to the 5,000 reductions it announced earlier this year.
To help CIOs reengage and retain IT staffers, Robert Half Technology makes the following recommendations:
- Re-recruit the best workers by finding out what would increase their job satisfaction, and by reminding them of the benefits gained by working for the company;
- Offer more training and professional development, such as online training, mentoring programs, and tuition reimbursement;
- Offer promotions to deserving employees, and structure positions so that workers have a growth path within the company and therefore won't need to look elsewhere for advancement;
- Reward excellence through verbal appreciation and public acknowledgement (which doesn't cost the company anything);
- Communicate with staff and be proactive about disseminating company news, be it good or bad;
- Offer support and help with projects, particularly for those employees who are doing their own jobs as well as those of co-workers who were laid off, by shifting workers or bringing in temporary help;
- Encourage team-building by planning activities such as off-site lunches to make employees feel appreciated;
- Budget-permitting, consider compensation through raises or spot bonuses;
- Enhance work/life balance by offering flexible schedules and work-at-home options;
- Help employees prioritize projects so they understand which are most pressing.
Only registered users can write comments. Please login or register.