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Let’s Hang To What We’ve Got

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Transmitted by CNW Group on : November 18, 2009 09:00
Career Expert Offers 10 Tips for Staff Retention in the New Year

LetTORONTO, Nov. 18 /CNW/ – Employers may have a common resolution in mind as the new year approaches: keeping top performers on board. As we begin to come out of a difficult recession, many companies recognize that their most valued employees will be presented with other opportunities.
It’s clear that potential employee turnover is a concern for many chief information officers (CIOs) heading into the new year: 44 per cent of 270 CIOs recently interviewed for a Robert Half Technology survey said retaining existing workers will be their number-one staffing priority in 2010.

“Technology professionals, in particular, are under increased pressure as companies proceed with previously postponed initiatives,” said Geoff Thompson, vice president of Robert Half Technology. “Preventing burnout amongst top employees is essential to maintain productivity and gain momentum as the economy improves. Prior downsizings and reduced benefits have left many workers feeling overburdened and unappreciated.”
Thompson added that retention efforts will be critical to evading turnover in the coming year. “Companies need to re-engage and entice existing employees as if they were prospective hires or possibly yield to competitor threats.”

Thompson offers the following 10 tips for retaining your top performers:

1.  Re-recruit your best workers. Talk with employees about what might
enhance their job satisfaction and remind them of the unique benefits
provided by your company. Emphasize what your firm has to offer,
whether it’s a great corporate culture, solid financial standing or
strong industry reputation.

2.  Evaluate workloads. One in four (25 per cent) CIOs polled for the
Robert Half Technology survey said they plan on redistributing staff
workloads to meet project demands. While every project may seem like
a priority, there are likely some that can take a backseat to more
pressing matters.

3.  Provide project support. Employees who have lost coworkers to layoffs
are, in many cases, now doubling down. If hiring is not an option,
consider bringing in project professionals to help alleviate
workloads.

4.  Invest in professional development. Offering more training and
professional development benefits both the employee and the company.
Online learning opportunities, mentoring programs and tuition
reimbursement are all good options.

5.  Provide opportunities for career advancement. Structure positions so
employees can grow their careers without leaving your firm. Offer
promotions to workers who have demonstrated they can succeed at the
next level.

6.  Recognize excellence. It seems obvious, but a simple “thank you” and
public acknowledgement of your staff’s contributions will strengthen
their loyalty.

7.  Communicate regularly with staff. Maintain an open-door policy
year-round. Workers want to hear about company news, in good times
and bad.

8.  Encourage more team-building activities. No doubt, many companies
have cut back on employee perks, but an occasional group activity,
such as a trip to the movies or an offsite lunch, can make them feel
more appreciated.

9.  Consider compensation. While not all firms can offer employees
increased salaries, there may be potential for spot bonuses at the
end of a major project or team accomplishment.

10. Promote work/life balance. Give staff members the option to follow
a flexible schedule or telecommute one day a week. It doesn’t cost
anything to implement these changes and workers will appreciate the
leeway.

About the Survey
The national survey was developed by Robert Half Technology, a leading provider of IT professionals on a project and full-time basis, and conducted by an independent research firm. The survey is based on more than 270 telephone interviews with CIOs from a random sample of Canadian companies with 100 or more employees.

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