Job Satisfaction: Will IT Employees Stay or Will They Go?

How well do CIOs know their IT employees? Research shows they may not be on the same page when it comes to job satisfaction – and some workers are looking to leave.

It's a common scenario for managers: they think everything is going well on their teams, but unbeknownst, their employees have one foot out the door. Based on the most recent survey by Robert Half Technology, the same is true for CIOs and IT employees.

The Job Satisfaction Disconnect

In a press release we issued recently titled “Keeping Their Best On Board,” we found that although 72 percent of CIOs think their IT employees are satisfied with their jobs, more than a third said they plan to find a new job in the next year. Add to that the additional 35 percent of IT employees who say they aren’t sure whether they plan to stay in their current position in the next year, and that disconnect becomes even clearer. While it's apparent there is a disconnect, it's also apparent why it exists. When you manage an IT staff in addition to security, uptime and countless other IT projects, it’s not always easy to worry about retention. In fact, it may be easier to overlook employee satisfaction – especially if they aren’t telling you directly. On top of that, the IT job market is hot right now, so even if employee satisfaction is high, IT workers may still be swayed by new opportunities. Hence, it’s even more crucial that IT managers stay tuned in to their employees' job satisfaction.

Low Employee Satisfaction Means High Turnover

Why do IT employees leave? The top three reasons in our survey were:

  • Needing a new challenge
  • Lack of advancement potential
  • Inadequate pay

Job satisfaction is linked to employee retention. So your best bet is to focus on the ways to encourage contentment. Here are five tips to help ensure employee satisfaction:

  1. Pay competitively. Salary isn't the only key to job satisfaction, but underpaying technology professionals will prompt them to seek other career opportunities. Be sure to check resources such as our IT Salary Guide or our online IT Salary Calculator.
  2. Offer new responsibilities. Top performers want to advance and feel challenged. Even when you can't give a promotion, offer new areas of responsibility – the best IT pros want to continually build their skill sets.
  3. Create a learning culture. Reimburse staff for relevant online classes, educational conferences and courses offered by professional associations or local colleges. If employees seek IT certifications, consider reimbursing them for the costs to obtain and maintain their credentials. If your firm doesn't have the budget to pay for classes, consider starting a mentoring program.
  4. Provide attractive benefits. Ask technology professionals what perks they want – from extended health plans to flexible work hours to paid time off – and do your best to deliver them. Often, little things can go a long way to promote employee satisfaction.
  5. Address burnout proactively. Promoting realistic workloads, bringing in project professionals when full-time employees are at capacity and tackling morale issues immediately can help prevent employees from feeling overburdened and stressed. Remember, your IT staff is your most expensive resource – invest in their happiness to ensure they're not compelled to leave.

How do you make sure your IT employees are happy and productive? Share your tips for employee satisfaction below.

Job Satisfaction: Why IT Employees Leave Job Satisfaction: Why IT Employees Leave