Money top retention tool for IT: Survey

Work-life balance and training also important for keeping top talent
||Last Updated: 05/12/2008

In the IT industry, money talks, but it's not the only employee-loyalty tool, according to a new survey.

The survey by staffing firm Robert Half Technology asked 270 chief information officers (CIOs) to identify the most effective ways to keep IT staff. It found compensation, at 27 per cent, topped the list.

Providing flexible schedules was close behind, cited by 21 per cent of respondents, while another 17 per cent said opportunities for professional development helped to improve retention rates.

"Attractive compensation is a key component of an effective retention program as it shows employees their contributions are valued," said Sandra Lavoy, vice-president with Robert Half Technology.

"A corporate culture that includes work-life balance and training options is also highly valued by IT professionals and is crucial for retaining top performers in a competitive hiring environment."

Other measures cited in the survey include telecommuting (seven per cent), extra vacaction days (four per cent) and stock options (three per cent).

Robert Half Technology offers the following advice for improving retention rates:

• Pay competitively. Periodically benchmark employee compensation against industry-standard ranges to ensure salaries are keeping pace.

• Support work-life balance. To prevent teams from burning out, ensure that workloads are realistic. Encourage employees to ask for help when they need it, and consider bringing in project professionals to help during peak periods.

• Offer and promote training. Provide IT staff access to the courses and certification programs they need to grow their careers. Make sure employees are aware of professional development opportunities.

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