COVID-19 has thrown both employees and the companies they work for through a loop. Many are considering if their company is the right one for them, especially if the firm encourages unsafe practices or the transition to remote work wasn't smooth.
Tech companies are facing a reckoning as employees are fleeing California for states with lower costs of living. The departure of talent will require tech companies to do even better to keep their best employees. There are opportunities in Texas, among other places, that offer similar employment packages without the costly price tag of San Francisco and the Bay Area.
New, shiny, and VC backed companies also draw the attention of top talent as tech workers want to be apart of unicorn teams and enjoy the perks of a company going public. San Francisco has already seen many new millionaires as IPOs are putting more money in their pockets. There is no sure-fire way to retain employees, but practicing people-first policies can discourage people from leaving.
Having a strategic planning session soon? Make sure you're asking your people the right questions:
Value Work, Not Time, At Your Company
Time shouldn't be a factor when it comes to promotion. Yes, it does say a great deal about a person if they stay with your company for years, but loyalty isn't everything. Some employees can skate by without making an impact on your company’s products. Time-based promotion requirements might deter employees from staying at your company long enough for the chance to get a promotion. Value should be put on the impact their work has on their team or department.
The longest-tenured software engineer isn't always the best suited to become a Product Manager. Promotion policies regarding tenure don't encourage newer employees to increase their output and will upset long-standing employees by an outside hire. By emphasizing quality work, employees will strive to be noticed through effort and productivity rather than occupying the same desk for a few years.
Build Partnership With Coding Bootcamps
Hiring the right person for your team goes a long way toward having a supportive culture. Before posting a job, know what you are looking for in a candidate. If you are looking for skilled, dedicated, and thorough employees who can handle the pace of a startup, consider building a relationship with the top coding bootcamps.
Coding bootcamps are quickly (in a matter of months) churning out qualified software engineers. Bootcamps aren't exclusive to Silicon Valley either. Since most offer online courses, you can find a qualified coder in cities like Salt Lake City and Atlanta. By building a partnership with these bootcamps, many of which have hiring guarantees, you can know the new hires' exact capabilities. A partnership might allow you to give projects to students as they are working toward their certifications.
Keep Work Challenging
Company culture isn't always crucial to tech workers; they might prefer opportunities for advancement or challenging work. After some time at your company, a software engineer might feel too comfortable or fatigued with the same project. Having multiple projects and allowing lateral movement might allow ambitious employees to stay with your company but still quell their desire for new horizons.
Those who get computer science degrees might have done so for job security, but they also crave a challenge. Rotating employees through ongoing projects might allow a burnt-out employee to be reborn as they delve into something new. Even the most dedicated and loyal employees might want a change of scenery to satisfy their need for new challenges.
One way to quench that thirst for change is to allow engineers to attend coding bootcamps to learn a new skill. Many bootcamps offer self-paced options that enable them to build a working knowledge of a new skill set. By giving their mind something new on which to focus, their need for a challenge will allow them to remain on their current project.
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Turnover is a common part of the tech industry. It's doubtful that any company has the recipe to keep top talent, especially if they aren't made of money like some tech giants. Employing small changes and building partnerships with bootcamps can help keep your employees satisfied and contributing to their current projects. Challenging employees and praising them for their work, not their tenure at the company, will cause a rise in employee satisfaction and the quality of your product.