With the great resignation and the shift to a candidate’s market it’s no wonder the emphasis has shifted from recruitment to retention. With an estimated cost of 6-9 months salary to replace an employee, making sure you keep the best talent within your tech team is essential.
What’s often forgotten is that retention starts right from the recruitment process. 33% of employees know within the first week whether they’ll be staying long term or not. That’s a lot of pressure to get it right first time. But what then. If you do get it right how do you keep your employees engaged and motivated so they want to be stay.
Let’s take a look.
Up your onboarding game
First impressions count. And nowhere is that more true than in your onboarding process. Without a solid plan you’re never going to be able to consistently and successfully onboard your new tech recruits, instead you’ll scattergun and depending on the hiring manager the result will vary.
The other variable to add to the mix now is in-person vs remote onboarding. While the foundations are the same they need treating differently to engage your new starter.
- Engage early and often: stay in contact with your new hires before they start, keep communication open, allow them to ask questions and give them a solid plan early so they know what to expect on their first day.
- Be clear with expectations: the unknown causes anxiety, whether that’s an unknown plan, unclear guidance or uncertain expectations. Be clear, and realistic.
- Create moments of magic: your onboarding process is about building a relationship. To help, create special personal touches whether that’s a welcome gift, a team lunch out, an early finish on their first day. Small gestures that will help build a positive relationship early on.
- Be prepared: there’s nothing worse than turning up on your first day and your IT isn’t sorted, your password isn’t created and you end up reading old marketing materials. It doesn’t exactly set a welcoming tone. Show you’re expecting them and excited about them starting by making sure everything is ready for that person to start right away.
- Make it easy: if this is their first remote role they might be unsure about how it works. Check with them about their set-up, their tech, what they need from you. Create a comprehensive plan where they can do some parts at their own pace and others are scheduled for them.
- Talk often: when you’re working from home you can’t just ask the person sitting next to you an odd question so the chances of struggling in silence is real. Make sure you’re in constant communication, whether that’s via Teams or Slack or a quick call.
- Don’t forget the social side: just because you’re not in the office doesn’t mean you can’t be social. Have a team lunch, set up some informal chats, send them a welcome gift, make sure you get to know them in a personal way, without every conversation focusing on work.
- Be transparent: you learn a lot about who’s who from being in the office that you miss out on with remote work. Provide your new starter with organisational charts, lists of key stakeholders, and explain how everything works and who will be useful for them to know.
Tips to retain
You’ve onboarded your new tech talent, great. Now you need to keep them engaged and happy so they stay with you. Here are our top 3 tips.
Flexibility & trust
60% of employees say trust has a direct impact on their sense of belonging. Without trust and empowerment employees can feel treated like a child, micromanaged and frustrated. You can show you trust your staff through flexible and remote working, shifting to monitoring outcomes rather than monitoring actions.
Culture and values
In this post-pandemic era, culture and values have never been more influential. 45% of UK employees believe a ‘great’ culture is the most important factor when looking for a new role. When thinking about retention that means you can’t oversell what the business stands for, and you need to be able to follow through on anything you do say. Words aren’t enough, it’s actions that matter.
The best advice we can give you when you’re thinking about your retention strategy is to develop your employees. There’s always the fear that if you upskill your employees, particularly your most talented ones, then they’ll depart for pastures new. By supporting your employees growth you’re showing that you’re invested in them and you care about their career, whether that’s with you or not.
If you’re looking at your retention strategy, go back a few steps. Start looking at how you engage your new starters through your onboarding process and then how you keep them engaged. After all, if you’re looking at trying to keep tech talent once they’re starting to get itchy feet it’s probably too late. Instead look to create truly engaged employees from day 1.
At Source Technology, we understand that employee retention is essential for the long-term success of any organization. Losing valuable talent can be costly in terms of both time and money, and it can also lead to decreased morale and productivity among remaining employees.
Our team of expert consultants can work with you to develop a retention strategy that is tailored to your specific business needs and goals. We can help you identify areas where you may be losing talent and develop effective solutions to address those issues. Find out more about how we can work with you here.