Digital Transformation Doesn’t Need to Fall Victim to IT Staff Shortages

October 04, 2021

Five Tips for Addressing Attrition Head On

The pandemic continues to wreak havoc on businesses everywhere. We’re well aware of worker shortages in the warehouse, and restaurants that are forced to reduce their hours because there’s simply not enough staff to keep the kitchens open. The problem, however, is not confined to these markets but becoming a major threat to IT operations in enterprises as well.

The need for IT workers is surging because of COVID-19, and the spotlight it has shed on the power of computing as a way to keep businesses online. From cloud migrations, to automated systems and AI, long-term digital transformation initiatives that were ambling along just a few short years, have now become a sprint to the finish line. Despite the desire to implement new technologies, a tech talent shortage is seriously impeding companies’ efforts. A recent Gartner survey found that talent shortages are the biggest barriers to emerging technology adoption – ahead of costs or security risk.  According to the survey, IT executives see the talent shortage as the most significant adoption barrier for 64 percent of emerging technologies this year, compared with just 4 percent in 2020.

Yet, the pandemic is only partially to blame. A shortage of tech talent has been brewing for some time. In 2019, the World Economic Forum shared the results of a study which found that only 27% percent of small companies and 29 percent of large companies believe they have the right talent for digital transformation. For quite some time, fewer students have been pursuing STEM studies, and technology innovation has accelerated beyond the skill-sets of seasoned software engineers who have been in the business for some time. 

Employee Turnover Contributes to the Tech Talent Shortage

And while there has been a tech talent shortage, the rise of employee turnover is compounding the problem. Glassdoor found that the average voluntary turnover rate in the U.S. is 25 percent, which is almost double what it was three years ago.

Wovenware customers are confirming both the Glassdoor and Gartner findings. We’re hearing regularly that they simply don’t have the resources to execute vital IT projects; and staff turnover is rising at an alarming rate. 

In a business that employs mostly tech talent, here at Wovenware we’re proud of the fact that we have very high staff retention – actually less than five percent employee churn – and many of our team members have been with the company from the start. The fact that we’re in a tropical paradise with great quality of life, a lower cost of living than on the U.S. mainland, and stellar universities has much to do with it.  Yet, we also like to believe that we’ve built the company to support and value our employees and make it a place where they can thrive for the long term. 

So what are some steps companies can take to address the IT talent shortage and make sure that valued employees are retained?  Consider the following five:

  1. It’s not all about the money.  While we all know that an attractive salary is a major factor in an employee’s job satisfaction, lately it has become only part of the picture.  Today’s IT professional is looking for work-life balance, growth opportunities, a sense of community, as well as a feeling that their work has value beyond what it can do for the company.  
  2. Data-driven analysis can ward off attrition. As with many things, analyzing the data can uncover a treasure trove of valuable insights. Billing systems can help flag employees with a pattern of excessive work hours logged; HR systems can identify where you may be falling behind on providing timely employee reviews; and data collected from anonymous employee feedback surveys can uncover patterns of complaints.
  3. Recognition and rewards mean a lot. Whether it’s an IT troubleshooter who spent a Saturday helping remote workers get back online, or the software engineer who figured out why a mobile app keeps crashing the system – employees like to know they’re efforts are seen and valued.  It’s important to spotlight the work, and provide some type of a reward – whether it some PTO, a cash bonus or a smaller gesture.
  4. Everyone deserves a safe place to vent. IT staff that feels it’s not safe to constructively vent their frustrations, air their concerns or share their ideas for improvement will either complain or badmouth the company in private or leave for greener pastures. It’s important to regularly meet with staff and provide a forum for open and honest communication so that issues can be addressed. 
  5. Teamwork doesn’t always have to be about work. Everyone likes to feel that they’re part of a tight-knit community. Providing opportunities for group connection through company outings, bowling nights or community service projects build stronger teams and loyal employees.

Wovenware Can Fill in the Gaps

While it’s important to take steps to keep employees satisfied and motivated, attrition is still on the rise and we continue to face a shortage of valuable tech talent. Here at Wovenware, we’re here to help you make sure your digital transformation projects are not abandoned and customers and employees don’t suffer from stalled application modernization projects.  

We have more than 140 data scientists, design experience engineers, data specialists, software engineers and project managers with deep expertise ready to seamlessly become part of your team and help you realize your digital transformation goals – whatever regulated industry you play in.

Reach out to see how we can help at info@wovenware.com or 787-946-7412.

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