Here are techie retention tips from Christopher Knight of ISP-Planet. (Guess what? These tips are good for retaining any employees.)
1. Make sure techies know what their next step or challenge is so that they know specifically how they can make more money or earn their next promotion. A sure-fire way to lose good tech talent is to do only annual reviews.
2. Stay in close mental contact. Your employees need to know that you care enough to help them reach the next level of personal or career success.
3. Don’t impose a cap that stops them from achieving their true potential. Provide an atmosphere that allows them to climb as high as their human abilities will allow.
4. Provide them with up-to-date, adequate equipment. If equipment is outdated, you will be able to retain only outdated technicians.
5. If your team works extreme hours, such as 60-70+ hours under extreme stress conditions, make sure you give them time off for themselves or their family, with pay.
6. Set aside play time each day or each week. Allow your staff to release tension and stress through play. Play can include nerf football, network quake, or any other game that allows every tech to escape the daily grind.
7. Drive sales so that your techies can have faith that they will be able to climb as your organization grows. Stagnating sales team performance will eventually spill over and result in your techies quitting on you.
8. Use stock-option incentives and/or bonuses based on performance, such as uptime, customer telephone, or e-mail return response, or increased server or network response times to ensure that your techies’ goals are in alignment with your organizational goals.
When you are recruiting and retaining—whether it’s techies or “the rest of us”—success starts with the same basic HR tool—the lowly job description. Yet in many organizations the job descriptions are neglected.
It’s not hard to see why—job description maintenance is easy to put off, and it’s not exactly glamorous HR. But that doesn’t mean it’s not critical.