Introducing the four pillars of successful tech talent management plans adopted by leading organizations.
Many tech business leaders and managers find workforce management a challenging and stressful part of their job. A successful and well-respected leader is a combination of solid managerial skills and thoughtful practices. Therefore, it takes immense dedication and commitment to be competent digital leaders.
There are many methods to manage the tech workforce, but they all touch on four crucial factors that influence the sense of commitment that tech workers demonstrate. What are the four keys to unlocking your ability to empower and appeal to your tech workers? How are top-performing organizations differentiated by fulfilling the four criteria?
Explore how a well-managed team delivered an excellent solution to GEM’s customer HERE!
Defining tech workers
From their research, SHRM found that tech employees’ duties fall into as many as 7 categories. However, their roles boil down to building, managing, and maintaining the information technology (IT) of an organization. They can be engineers, project managers, designers, and technicians.
It is increasingly challenging to recruit and manage the tech workforce. The tech recruitment landscape is increasingly competitive, especially for highly skilled talents. Meanwhile, tech workers are raising their bar on an ideal working environment. Nearly 50% of those participating in SHRM’s survey stated their intention to change employers in pursuit of a better workplace. Companies that excel in tech talent management are differentiated in the following aspects:
- Manager practices
- Organizational culture
- Employee appreciation and recognition
Apart from the technical skills of team members, the success of a tech team also relies heavily on the leader’s management capability.
Below are the highest-impact practices discovered at top-performing organizations to manage the tech workforce.
Being focused on doing their job well
Tech workers count on their managers for navigation and guidance in projects. Therefore, they expect their managers to possess solid managerial skills and practices. To demonstrate commitment to their role, managers also need to continuously improve their skills. Other desirable features of tech managers are listed as being motivated in the workplace, truthfulness, and transparency.
Providing employee empowerment and engagement
Besides sufficient guidance, tech workers prefer managers who are open to their ideas and provide an adequate level of autonomy. To manage the tech workforce well, leaders must grant control to their staff in their assigned tasks. Also, competent managers empower their staff by mediating difficult conversations among the team and helping them overcome hiccups at work.
Activating and motivating team members
Qualified tech managers communicate goals and objectives to their members, leverage each team member’s strength, and foster an environment of non-competitive collaboration where all members work toward mutual success.
The culture and atmosphere of an organization play a decisive role in how motivated tech workers feel. A study conducted on 9,000 tech workers stated that a work culture overly focused on output tends to create intense burnout for its members. Instead, the needed characteristics to manage the tech workforce and inspire them are:
- Being open to different points of view and even constructive criticism
- Being development-focused, which means to value and foster the career advancements
- Promoting active contribution to the organization’s plans and shared responsibility – which means people should hold each other accountable when needed.
Employee appreciation and recognition
The third element of effective management is making employees feel valued and recognized. It has been proven in various studies and research papers to be a core tool to manage the tech workforce.
- As early as 2012, SHRM had research in which it was claimed that companies who effectively practiced employee appreciation were 12 times more likely to yield strong business performance.
- A study conducted in 2019 revealed that almost 40% of tech workers thought their burnout was caused by inadequate levels of recognition at work. Therefore, leaders who manage the tech workforce well should not be overly output-driven.
- Nearly 70% of tech workers stated they would quit if they did not feel valued.
There are three layers of employee appreciation that an organization can implement: Recognition from the line manager/leader, organization-level recognition, and appreciation from one’s peers.
Without a doubt, compensation is an extremely important factor in attracting and retaining tech talents. Nearly 40% of tech workers stated their top reason for saying “No” to a job offer was being offered a better compensation package.
An appealing compensation package is characterized by two factors: it is fair, and it is driven by performance. Tech workers expect their salaries to be paid in an equitable, timely, and transparent manner. Besides, the payment structure should vary based on how well they perform at work including real-time bonuses, and annual pay adjustments to reward individual progress.
To manage the tech workforce, the focus is not only tracking employees’ progress and supervising their tasks. To retain the tech workforce, leaders and managers must foster an environment where their employees feel supported, valued, and empowered in all aspects. Therefore, what’s needed is a strong and holistic focus on proven managerial practices, open organizational culture, deserving employee recognition, and adequate, performance-driven compensation.