As a core pillar of the current generation, technology plays a central role in how businesses run their operations. Software technology has made it very efficient for companies and brands to secure their presence online, capture large traffic, and grow their business on online platforms. According to Larry English, the world has realized the full benefit of software technology and the importance of having a good team of software employees during the Covid-19 pandemic. That has seen tech companies rush to acquire and secure top talent. Read on to find out the top reasons why software employee retention is more important than ever.
Who Are Software Employees?
Software employees are tech specialists who are responsible for developing and maintaining software. They have an understanding of software development languages and coding processes.
What Do Software Employees Do and Why is Employee Retention Important?
Software employees can analyze the software needs of a business and later design and develop software that meets a business’s unique needs. Additionally, they can also recognize the limitations of the existing software and hardware operated by a business and propose changes for improved efficiency. Some business models need software employees on stand-by to solve any online or web-related challenges that may affect their business operations, especially during high traffic seasons such as holidays. Software employees are also responsible for conducting updates and ensuring that all data their employer or contracting firm owns stays safe and secure.
Which Non-Technical Skills Do Software Employees Need?
For software employees to be successful, they require non-technical skills to complement their technical skills and talent in software development. These skills include creativity, seamless communication, a positive attitude, attention to detail, problem-solving, time management, organization, prioritization, a deep passion for software development, and emotional intelligence. It would help to be open to new experiences and appreciate diversity and culture.
Top Reasons Why Software Employee Retention is More Important Than Ever For Businesses
In this modern age where technology rules the day, it’s crucial for businesses, firms, and brands to retain software employees and keep up with current market demands. Here are some top reasons why software employee retention is vital than ever:
The main benefits businesses could reap from retaining their talented software employees is consistency. Having the same core IT or software development staff for an extended time enables the employees to accumulate knowledge about your brand and its needs. That’s a crucial asset any brand can tap into for its successive projects and always stay ahead of the competition in the process. Retaining your software employees also allows the software development team with extensive knowledge of a brand’s or firm’s strategies to maintain and improve productivity by minimizing errors and mistakes. The smooth workflow from a team of software employees who have been working together and who share a culture also positively impacts the team’s morale.
Time is an imperative factor of production. It takes time for new software employees to familiarize themselves with the specifics of a software development project. That includes the workability of the software architecture, the codebase itself, and the specific coding conventions adopted by the company and sometimes the entire software team. The downtime can be costly in terms of time and general productivity. That’s why it’s paramount for businesses to retain their software employees to avoid such downtimes. Saving time makes it one of the many reasons why software employee retention is more important than ever, as you can’t recover lost time.
Every software employee has a unique way of writing code and developing software. It can be challenging for new software employees to read and learn other software employees’ code. Note that it takes time for software employees to acclimatize to the already written code and continue contributing towards it. That means any changes to the software development employee team could annihilate the general productivity of the whole team. It may cause a drag on the rest of the team as they have to give time and experience some downtime as they wait for the new team member to get up to speed with the coding of the software development projects in the works. Keeping the same team will guarantee workflow and abolish any hiccups, ensuring the completion of software projects in due time.
Why It Is Becoming So Hard For Software Employee Retention
Retaining software employees is becoming ever more challenging by the day. Here are some reasons why:
Competition for Top Talent
With the dawn of the Covid-19 pandemic, the world economies shut down, and most businesses and governments sent their employees home. That saw a rise in demand for online services for work, school, and entertainment. Consequently, it resulted in a rise in demand for software technicians in the tech industry. Service providers moved to reinforce their teams to meet their clientele’s demand and improve their capacity to handle the heavy traffic on their platforms. With the number of software employees lower than the demand, every business is in a rush to beat their competition and get top talent. Consequently, the low number of top talented software employees has made it increasingly difficult for small firms to keep their software staff as they may get better opportunities elsewhere.
A Limited Working Environment
Another factor contributing to trouble retaining software employees is a limited working environment. Many companies are not keeping up with computer technology and still use outdated computing software. This software requires more effort to maintain and slows down the innovation process. Such systems can wear down those who need challenging technology to work. Naturally, software employees are dynamic, addicted to learning, and always innovative through coding. If the working environment isn’t challenging, they may move to a different working environment that offers new technology, coding language, paradigms, and challenges, besides an environment that isn’t stagnant.
Expansion of the Freelance Market
The freelance market is greatly expanding, taking highly talented and skilled software employees. There has been a great rise of onshoring and offshoring software companies, which rapidly acquire top talent and allow software employees to work on a more flexible basis than the traditional IT department retention model. These companies provide a less stressful environment as they are free to perform software developments and offer software services based on their models. Being specialized companies, they keep up with new computer technology trends, offering software employees an environment that is dynamic and up to date.
Unsatisfied Software Employees
Low retention rates of software employees can also be due to employee dissatisfaction regarding their role in the software development team and the organization. In such a case, the unsatisfied personnel may decide to leave. If a business lacks proper and open communication paths through which software employees can express their frustrations, it can lose out on a huge workforce. One of the main reasons that can cause dissatisfaction is when software employees can’t freely perform software developments as per their creativity and technical working and thinking skills. If they can’t actively and freely participate in the decision-making processes, they may become frustrated as their abilities are limited. In the end, they may decide to leave.
Bad Experiences at the Workplace
Negative experiences at work can also be a major contributor to a low retention rate of software employees. It can be a single experience or multiple experiences over time. Bad experiences can result from bad leadership, lack of role clarity, a culturally unfriendly or discriminative working environment, or even being passed up for a promotion. If software employees feel they aren’t growing career-wise in their current working environment, they may look for a better opportunity elsewhere. Such situations can be disheartening and demoralizing, causing your software employees to leave.
The IT industry is pretty competitive. With the right and specific technical skills, software employees are always in demand. The high number of available opportunities available for these specialists may keep them always on the move to different firms that offer better pay and benefits. If software employees feel that they aren’t getting the worth for their skills and time, they may decide to take up a better offer or search for an opportunity elsewhere. Most employees are always looking for better pay. If they don’t find it at their current workplace, chances are high they will leave for a new workplace to negotiate a better salary and benefits package for their time and skill.
Personal Decision to Make a Change
In other cases, software employees may choose to leave following personal decisions. The reason behind it could be family situations, poor health, maternity leaves, or if the employee has decided to quit. It can be very difficult for any business to retain a talented software employee in such a situation regardless of the counteroffer you may give them.
What Firms Can Do to Improve Their Teams and Software Employee Retention
There are many measures firms and businesses can put in place to improve the working environment of their software employees. These can be financial and non-financial measures that help keep the software and IT workforce from leaving.
Offer Better Pay and Benefit Packages
The best way for any firm or business to retain software employees is by offering better payment opportunities. Most companies pay their software employees salaries below the market value; hence, they may not retain a pool of talented IT and software specialists. Good salaries are the ideal incentive you can use to retain such talent. Coupled with good benefits such as regular bonuses, gym memberships, paid health insurance, and equity shares, that can help retain software employees. Maintaining a competitive salary also tends to keep the competition away.
Recognize the Efforts of Software Employees
Keeping your software employees motivated is imperative. IT and software employees have become stem employees to any firm’s strategy, playing a major role in the current tech era. It is important to regularly recognize the hard work they put in for the general running and success of the business. Making them feel appreciated may help retain them as employees. You could appreciate them through conversations, in the middle of presentations during general meetings, or any other opportunity you get.
Go for Internal Employees Over External Hires
Sometimes, hiring processes may favor external applicants and leave already existing well-qualified and talented employees for the vacant position. By overlooking your employees, you lose out on retaining talented individuals already at your disposal. Prioritizing the employees in your workforce gives them an opportunity for growth in their career, makes them happy, and goes a long way in maintaining them as your staff. You’ll give your employees a career path for growth in your organization, fostering hope for even better positions in the future. Remember that internal software employees are already acclimatized to the culture in the organization. They are also more accepted by juniors and can easily help new employees adapt to the work environment. Prioritizing your internal team also helps reduce incidences of downtime as an internal staff is aware of the project goals and code language, enabling them to maintain the productivity of ongoing projects.
Offer Software Employees Life-Changing Benefits
Another way of ensuring that you keep your software employee workforce is by going beyond the conventional benefits and offering them a package that includes life-changing benefits. That gives you an edge over your competitors, not only attracting talented software specialists but also helping you retain your current ones. For instance, providing for longer maternity leaves, assistance with child care, long-term disability insurance, student loan payment assistance, or even tuition assistance for your software team can help retain the staff. Ensure that you provide a work environment and working conditions that favor their absence and ensure total support when they are in difficult family situations. A Forbes magazine article by Anja Honnefelder states that one of the best strategies you can use to retain software employees is by increasing their flexibility. One way of achieving that is by supporting a remote working environment, which would favor them even when they need to work offsite.
Upgrade and Update the Software and Computer Technology in Your Organization
IT work is generally stressful, and old and outdated computer and software technology makes it worse. Most software employees like the dynamic and up-to-date technology. You’ll go a long way in retaining your staff by providing that. New technology not only benefits your organization’s business models, strategies, productivity, and competitiveness-it also provides an opportunity for software employees to grow, be innovative, keep up with market trends, stay relevant, and gain experience in current IT technology. Up-to-date technology is also less frustrating and stressful, and it allows for linkage to other IT-based resources such as algorithms. Your employees are also likely to find it easy to take on more work and increase productivity. It’s best to rethink your IT budget and incorporate top-notch technology to retain top software employee talent.
The world has already embraced software technology as it runs most of the facets of the global economies. Every business with online operations needs a software team to remain competitive, capitalize on online platforms, and keep up with the digital space. If your business is small and can’t keep up with the competition, you can always outsource the services. And that’s where Sonatafy comes in. We help businesses like yours secure nearshoring software development services to gain expert talent without spending too much.