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a blog by Don R. Crawley

Keynote Speaker on
IT Customer Service and Compassion

Bringing humanity into the world of technology

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This is the third and final installment in my series on how to hire, manage, and retain top-performing tech employees. In this post, you’ll learn five critical success factors to help you retain your best employees.


You’ve hired a great I.T. team. You work hard to be a great manager. How do you ensure your team stays in place?

Be a Leader Instead of a Manager

That’s when you change from being a manager to being a leader.
According to a 2016 Deloitte study, fully one fourth of all Millennials (people born after roughly 1982) “would quit his or her employer within the next year to join a new organization or do something different. That number increases to 44% when the time frame is expanded to two years.”
According to a 2018 version of the same study, “Good pay and positive cultures are most likely to attract both Millennials and Gen Z-ers, but diversity/inclusion and flexibility are important keys to keeping them happy.”

Employees are Seeking a Sense of Purpose

Today’s Millennial (people born from roughly 1982 to 1995) and Gen Z employees (people born from roughly 1995 on) are seeking an authentic sense of purpose.

Obviously, compensation needs to be competitive with your top competitors. Compensation includes not only base pay, but benefits and bonuses, too. Bonuses can be holiday bonuses, performance bonuses, or a combination of both. Again, look to what your competitors are doing to establish a base compensation.

5 Critical Success Factors in Employee Retention

Assuming your compensation is in line with your competitors, here are five critical success factors in retaining high-performing tech employees, especially Millennials and Gen Zers:

  1. Develop open lines of communication. When front-line employees are able to communicate honestly and openly with upper management, real-world solutions can be applied to complex problems, innovation blossoms, and employees feel valued and important.
  2. Be flexible. Ask yourself if an employee’s presence is required at specific times to get the job done. Unless a specific schedule is required, consider evaluating employees based on performance instead of presence. Some companies even adopt an unlimited paid-time-off policy, which shows employees that management trusts them to manage their time in a way that serves the needs of the company. For more on that concept, do a search on “unlimited time off policy”.
  3. Operate ethically. It’s too bad that this needs to be included in the list, but following numerous large company ethical lapses, employees, especially Millenials and Gen Zers, tend to be cynical about whether to trust their employers or not. Avoid even the appearance of impropriety.
  4. Provide development opportunities. This is not limited just to younger members of your staff. People crave new knowledge and the understanding that comes with it. Consider providing onsite training or paying for employees to attend public seminars and workshops or online training. Also, consider offering tuition reimbursement for college-level classes.
  5. Act in a socially responsible manner. Encourage your employees to think about how your company can work to create a better local community. Solicit their input on developing a company initiative to support their ideas about acting responsibly. You must go beyond just words; this requires your company to act to effect change. The most effective social responsibility initiatives are driven from the bottom up. They should never be an owner or CEO’s pet project.

When you operate ethically and compensate fairly, when you create a work environment that values input from all employees, evaluate based on performance, and offer learning and development opportunities, you’re well on your way to leading a workplace culture that encourages longevity, even in today’s turbulent employment environment.

Special End-of-Year Savings On Online, On-Demand Training

I’m offering a ridiculous special on my Compassionate Geek online, on-demand IT customer service training. When you register and pay by December 31, you can get my full, eight-module IT customer service training for only $134.55, that’s a savings of $164.55 or 55%. Use this link to register and use the code HolidaySale55 to receive the discount.


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