Why Do High Performing IT Employees Leave Your Organization?

A CIO is only as good as her team. The high rate of turnover among IT employees has been a cause of concern for a while now. Even the biggest and most popular technology companies like Google and Amazon have high attrition rates. Among the IT-enabled service companies, this figure can be as high as between 15-20%. To put that in perspective, almost all IT professionals in your organization are replaced by new employees in just about half a decade.


This is definitely a problem for human resources, but the direct consequence of this is on your IT strategy and this is where the job of a CIO becomes important. Yes, one way to alleviate this problem is through comprehensive knowledge management that ensures that your organization continues to deliver on its IT strategy regardless of the churn. But with high churn, your employees also deal with constant re-training and honeymoon periods for new entrants that can impact the efficiency within the organization.


The way out for the CIO then is to address the disease and not the symptoms. A study published by the Asia Pacific Journal of Research identified eight reasons that caused attrition among IT employees. These factors include dissatisfaction with their job, high stress, high pressure on targets, non-adjustability with the company culture, lack of role clarity, job monotonousness, inability to update or upgrade.


At least five out of the eight reasons specified above are directly under the control of the CIO. Here are some ways a CIO can help retain their good employees and build an organization with happy employees with low churn.


Remove Monotonousness: One of the best ways to keep employees active is by rotating them within the organization. Businesses seldom do this because it creates additional strain on training resources. But the alternative is to lose these employees and training new entrants. In comparison, helping your IT professionals become versatile to different roles within your organization is a great way to not only keep them happy but also building a more robust workforce.


Update Their Skill-Sets: A common refrain among IT professionals is that they feel stagnated in their jobs. This is because technology behind any product does not evolve as fast as those that power the latest products in the industry. As the CIO, it is your responsibility to identify these latest trends and help your employees train on these latest tools. When your employee feels empowered with knowledge of the latest technologies, they are less inclined to move and are motivated to contribute more at work.


Enable A Hotline With Employees: In most businesses, employee grievances are handled entirely by human resources. While they are the team responsible for employee satisfaction, they are often untrained for work-related grievances of an IT professional. As a result, most employees share their problems relating to stress, training and job satisfaction with their team manager whose hands are often tied when it comes to handling these issues. The fix to this is for the CIO to directly intervene and set up a hotline with her employees, or at least with the team leads. This ensures that the head of the information and technology division in the company is directly aware of the issues at the grass-root level and can take upon challenges that can nip challenges in the bud.


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Bill has been a member of the technology and publishing industries for more than 25 years and brings extensive expertise to the roles of CEO, CIO, and Executive Editor. Most recently, Bill was COO and Co-Founder of CIOZone.com and the parent company PSN Inc. Previously, Bill held the position of CTO of both Wiseads New Media and About.com.