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Employee Retention On CIO Minds

Compiled By Traci Purdum An improving economy is a good thing, isn't it? Depending on how employees feel about your company, it could mean a mass exodus. To prevent employees from leaving at the first sign of light in the jobs market, senior executives need to address retention issues. Indeed, according to a recent survey by Robert Half Technology, a provider of information technology (IT) professionals, 58% of CIOs feel that retention of IT employees is more important now that the economy is on the mend. "Employee retention should be a high priority in any economic environment, but it is particularly important when firms are preparing for growth and new business opportunities," says Katherine Spencer Lee, executive director of Robert Half Technology. "Turnover can be costly for organizations in terms of lost productivity and intellectual capital, as well as recruitment and training expenses." The survey queried more than 1,400 CIOs from U.S. companies with 100 or more employees. It asked, "In your opinion, is the retention of your IT staff becoming more or less important as the economy improves?" The breakdown of responses:

  • Much more important -- 25%
  • Somewhat more important -- 33%
  • No change -- 36%
  • Somewhat less important -- 5%
  • Much less important -- 1%
Lee offered the following tips for motivating and retaining IT professionals:
  • Send in reinforcements. Many IT professionals have had to do more with less as a result of leaner workforces and budgets. Bringing in additional support and helping staff prioritize projects during busy times can circumvent stress and burnout.
  • Empower employees. Demonstrate trust in your employees by allowing them to implement their ideas and make strategic decisions.
  • Offer praise. Acknowledge your team's contributions. Simple actions such as recognition during a staff meeting or writing a thank-you note can go a long way toward improving morale.
  • Show them the money. A competitive compensation and benefits package sends the message to employees that you place a fair value on their work.
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