Top 5 strategies to hold on to software developers

With the world of technology racing in light speed, the pressure for companies to find an apt and able software developer increase. If at all a company finds a good software developer, there is a constant need of holding on to them and for this, you need to up your game.

Since we always know both employee and employer’s side of the story, we, from a third person’s perspective, have noticed certain trends emerging. To keep up with these, simply by observing the strategies used by companies, we have formulated what works and what does not. Here are the steps you should be following.

1. Start thinking about retention when recruiting

An employee might get hundreds of offers from other company, but they still wouldn’t even consider them if they are comfortable and happy with the current one. Making them satisfied with their current job is partially your job and it starts right when you interview them for the position.

Make sure you have your company culture elaborately explained to them. More than being there for the paycheck, the candidate should choose your company because they fit in. Let all candidates know about your company culture and chose the candidate who is promising and motivated to work in the culture. Comfort and satisfaction in the work place guarantees retention and optimum output.

It is crucial for the management and developer to share the company culture and not just say you have one while practice something else. This will reflect in the employees work as they will feel deceived. When you have employees who leave your company, as unfortunate as that is, make maximum use of it. Get a proper feedback as to why they left and now that they are not a part of the company, they can openly criticize it and the company can gain from a loss.

2. Find out if they’re happy

It is crucial for every company to not just know but understand the phrase ‘money doesn’t buy you happiness.’ When an employee expresses their dissatisfaction in the company, your argument should not be that they are paid well. No amount of money in the world will make a person stay at the place if they feel mentally trapped.

You cannot expect employees to tell you their problems in the company as it is human nature to to fear the repercussions. Hence, take an initiative in finding if employees are happy.

Anonymous suggestion boxes are one way of finding out the problems faced by employees. This way, the employees do not fear the consequences and they can freely talk about their problems giving you a clear-cut idea of how to create a better environment for the employees.

A way to know if the employee is happy is through referrals. An employee wouldn’t suggest the company to an acquaintance if they themselves are not happy in the place. Hence, you do not get any referrals from your employees, it might be time to do some leg work and find out how to make the place better for them.

3. HR and Management need to understand software development

Software development is very complex, and it is worth trying to understand it for the people who hire developers. Since the task is complex, the developers have their own way of working. They are creative and logical at the same time. They require their own space and being opinionated might lead to problems between the management and the developers. No, they are not moving away from your work culture and working as they please. It is just how they can work so do not try to micro-manage them. And yes, you shouldn’t doubt them, and you should trust them, leaving the work to the experts.

In developing softwares, you are bound to see failure. Developers know this but they wouldn’t want the management they are working for to start doubting their capabilities. Hence, make sure that you stand by them and support them especially during downfalls. This will make them feel like they have a very supporting team with them and be motivated to get work done.

One good practice you can follow is have team meetings where employees raise issues without having to fear anyone pointing fingers at each other. Mistakes are bound to happen, focus on how to resolve them and not blame each other.

4. Create a path for career progression and opportunities for learning

Let all your employees know the progression of the company no matter what the position of the employee is. This makes them feel that the work they do adds to the success and hence makes them feel like they play an important role in the company.

Apart from this, make sure you don’t make the work life of your employees very monotonous. Sure, they will have the same kind of work, but at the same time, add in challenges and opportunities to see personal growth. Even if they are in the same position, they shouldn’t feel like they are not moving up. The work they do should have some sort of elevation in their life. Add in projects and integrate learning into it. This gives employees a reason to work beyond paychecks.

5. Put your data to work

Databases can look boring without context, but it can turn out to be extremely helpful if it is put to good use. There are lots of data regarding your employees stored in your company and this might seem irrelevant, but it can be of immense help. With the help of new softwares, you can analyze these data to find which employees are likely to leave and who are likely to stay. Once you know this, you can focus on the ones who are bound to leave and have preventive measures taken to keep them in the company. You can also have a comparative study done on the difference between the ones who are bound to stay and the ones who are inclining towards quitting. This will help you assess the situation way better.

According to the importance of their input in the company and the worthiness of their output, you can relax your company rules for them to feel more comfortable. When you do everything, you can from your side to make your employees feel comfortable, the only ones who would still leave are people who you wouldn’t want working there either. This also ensures all good talent stays with you and not get baited by offers from other companies.