Employee retention. Who has not discussed this topic before? What could be done? Can leaders have a better impact on the challenge? Or is it just the present context in the IT sector in Ireland, especially in Dublin, that generates this problem?
With 9 out of the 10 top global software companies operating here, the ICT sector is thriving in Ireland with more than 105,000 people employed in 2016 - up 40% from 2010 - including another 12,000 people working for indigenous companies, producing more than €2 billion turnover per annum ( Irish Software Association, 2017). This situation has created a candidate-driven market. Turnover is high for companies having to fight to retain their staff longer.
Five recommendations that can change the game
- Leaders and their executive teams can make a difference. Build an executive or a management team composed of people sharing the company mission, vision and values and who share the ability to work with each other. Myers-Briggs personality tests or Belbin team roles can help build the perfect mix.
- Bring purpose to employee engagement to get performance. Help your talents to understand their strength and build an employee success plan from the hiring to the reward stages. The V2MOM framework from Marc Benioff helps map out Vision, Values, Methods, Obstacles and Measurement from a companywide to an individual contributor.
- Employee development is an investment into the present and the future. Discuss further education options as a key benefit for employees. It is advised to use the 9-box of HR model from McKinsey to display performance and potential of the employees.
- A strong culture is a culture of employee success and retention. Run anonymous employee surveys quarterly to evaluate employee pride in working for the company, willingness to recommend it to their contacts, frequency of their thoughts to leave, willingness to work in the company in 2 years’ time. Solutions from companies like Qualtrics are very easy to implement.
- Ignoring reality is not a choice. Get back to the origins of the company and the values that make leaders proud to create or join the business they are currently leading. It is the leaders’ responsibility to permanently think about re-recruiting their own employees to keep them, and not to consider them “bought” forever. They should also never forget to ask for help, if needed, from their peers, alumni, mentors, or business associations like the Institute of Directors in Ireland.
While these recommendations are just the beginning, I am hopeful these tools will allow more businesses to sharpen their focus back on their talents, whatever the external context may be. Trusting and empowering employees is the best way to develop a business in a healthy way. The future is ours, and it’s within our power to shape it.
Guillaume Hernoux https://www.linkedin.com/in/ghernoux/ is Head of Partnerships & Growth Consultant at Transpoco, an Irish leader in Telematics. His thesis was submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Business Administration of Henley Business School (University of Reading, 2019).