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16 Ways to Retain Technical Staff - Don't Lose Them to Your Competition

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How can you keep your technical staff engaged and avoid losing them to your competitors? Find out how Paul Vesely, Founder & CEO of Blue Mountain Data Systems Inc. has been able to maintain his excellent technical staff since 1994.

Published in: Leadership & Management
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16 Ways to Retain Technical Staff - Don't Lose Them to Your Competition

  1. 1. 16 Ways to Retain Technical Staff
  2. 2. Question Do you know the real reasons why good technical people quit?
  3. 3. Answer
  4. 4. Other Reasons Good employees quit because they feel undervalued, underwhelmed, underpaid, or overworked. (SOURCE: Wasp Buzz).
  5. 5. It’s Costing You Time and Money As a result, employee turnover is costing your organization more time and money than you think. Believing that technical employees are “replaceable” may appear to be satisfactory to some firms. In the long term, however, you may sacrifice more than money; customer satisfaction, business knowledge, and team morale.
  6. 6. Question What does Blue Mountain Data Systems Inc. do to keep valuable technical staff?
  7. 7. Management Ideas 16 Ways to Retain Technical Staff
  8. 8. #1 The decision to bring on new staff is a two-way street—your organization seeks their expertise, and they seek a company where they can grow and hone their technical skills. Providing this arrangement from the start can foster a great relationship between your organization and its staff.
  9. 9. Suggestion #2 Negotiating above average, industry compensation at the onset of the hiring process expresses your organization’s intent to invest in the talent that the prospective team member brings to the table. An organization’s inability to provide a competitive salary (23%) is the second most reason that positions are not filled in a timely manner, preceded only by the lack of qualified applicants (60%). SOURCE: PayScale
  10. 10. Suggestion #3 0 A comprehensive package of benefits removes the candidate’s obligation to find coverage on his/her own. At Blue Mountain we provide: - A very rich health benefits plan, 50% employer paid - Company paid dental, STD, LTD, Life and Vision - Section 125 Premium Only Plan, which enables pre-tax employee contributions - Section 125 Flexible spending arrangement for pre-tax out of pocket medical costs - Annual Christmas parties at the owner’s house, catered by a professional chef and staff. We also have Christmas gift checks as well as drawings for gifts that have ranged from $50 to over $11,000. - Spot bonuses for a job well done - Social chats on the phone—we become involved in employee’s lives and mentor them when asked - Lunches and dinners - Long Term Care Insurance - Flexibility with working hours, leave and carryover leave
  11. 11. Suggestion #4 Do what you say that you are going to do. As the head of an organization, you must be comfortable within yourself before you can convey your thoughts calmly, yet decisively to others. Consistency in this regard is key to building a strong foundation of trust.
  12. 12. Suggestion #5 Valuable employees quit because they have problems with management. As a small organization, Blue Mountain provides an organizational chain of command where everyone reports to the owner as the line manager. Staff then report to a project manager who is responsible for customer deliverables. This gives each team member direct communication with the person that pays their salary, while also remaining responsible to project managers for their work product. This structure works for small organizations, but the strategy can be revisited as companies grow.
  13. 13. Suggestion #6 Understanding the strengths and weaknesses of your staff members is the key to forming cohesive groups within your organization. Pairing people who compliment each other’s skillsets strikes a balance that is sure to last. Create tasking where individuals will constantly achieve success. Do not create situations that set up individuals for potential failure.
  14. 14. Suggestion #7 Conveying clear-cut tasks, goals, and objectives promotes a seamless exchange of information and ideas between management and staff. This will alleviate misunderstandings, frustrations, and stress, thereby saving time and increasing productivity.
  15. 15. Suggestion #8 Fostering direct communication permits team members to share ideas freely, and lets them know that management is listening to them. Providing a structure that offers staff the autonomy to select their own solutions to solve problems also conveys trust that the job will get done. Personal involvement and investment in a project promotes ownership, which helps to achieve success..
  16. 16. Suggestion #9 Receiving accurate, quality work from your staff is better achieved when staff does not have to adhere to the demands of (1) being at work at a specific time, (2) worrying about making too many personal phone calls or searching the internet, and (3) conforming to a certain dress code.
  17. 17. Suggestion #10 We all have commitments and obligations outside of our work duties to which we must attend. Allowing flexible schedules, e.g., telecommuting, comp time, etc. where applicable, alleviates stress and will allow staff to concentrate on the matter at hand when executing job duties.
  18. 18. Suggestion #11 Technical staff members possess individual skillsets that they bring to your organization. Offering a variety of tasks and responsibilities helps to keep staff engaged and motivated.
  19. 19. Suggestion #12 Management should meet with staff regularly to set expectations and deadlines, as well as to listen to progress briefings and problem alerts. This will allow team members to work independently with little interruption, and further conveys trust. Open lines of communication avoids surprises with deliverables and timelines.
  20. 20. Suggestion #13 Permit developers to select their own solutions when solving problems. Sometimes this means enlisting the help of other team members to collaborate on projects. This will solidify the team and generate ideas that may not otherwise have surfaced.
  21. 21. Suggestion #14 All parties involved on projects should interact freely so that all are kept in the loop. Communication between staff and customers, pairs names with faces, creating an integrated team that takes ownership of the problem, boosts cohesiveness, and focuses on doing a great job for the customer..
  22. 22. Suggestion #15 Always be honest regarding customer feedback and in conveying company/management information. Provide constructive criticism when needed, but also remember to reward a job well done (e.g. praise and spot bonuses). Operating with integrity promotes the same from your team members.
  23. 23. Suggestion #16 Keeping up with technology is a must if your organization wants to retain as many technical staff members as possible. Allocate funds in your budgets for certifications, refresher courses, and new subjects, as applicable. Tuition assistance also entices professional staff to stay with your organization.
  24. 24. ABOUT US Blue Mountain Data Systems Inc. Blue Mountain Data Systems Inc. is dedicated to application and systems development, document management and the automation of workflow processes. Read more about our experience here: >> http://bluemt.com/experience
  25. 25. MANAGEMENT Paul T. Vesely Founder, President, CEO and Principal Architect Mr. Vesely is a recognized thought leader in systems architecture and delivery, having designed and delivered many enterprise wide information and document management solutions. Mr. Vesely’s history includes 33 years experience in the information systems industry, with Unisys, Grumman, PRC and a host of clients in both government and private sectors.
  26. 26. CONTACT US Contact Us Today to Discuss Your Next IT Project HEADQUARTERS 366 Victory Drive Herndon, VA 20170 PHONE 703-502-3416 FAX 703-745-9110 EMAIL paul@bluemt.com WEB http://bluemt.com

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