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Career Expert Offers 10 Tips for Staff Retention in the New Year

Toronto — Employers may have a common resolution in mind as the new year approaches: keeping top performers on board. As we begin to come out of a difficult recession, many companies recognize that their most valued employees will be presented with other opportunities.

It’s clear that potential employee turnover is a concern for many chief information officers (CIOs) heading into the new year: 44 per cent of 270 CIOs recently interviewed for a Robert Half Technology survey said retaining existing workers will be their number-one staffing priority in 2010.

“Technology professionals, in particular, are under increased pressure as companies proceed with previously postponed initiatives,” said Geoff Thompson, vice president of Robert Half Technology. “Preventing burnout amongst top employees is essential to maintain productivity and gain momentum as the economy improves.

Thompson offers the following 10 tips for retaining your top performers:

  1. Re-recruit your best workers. Talk with employees about what might enhance their job satisfaction and remind them of the unique benefits provided by your company. Emphasize what your firm has to offer, whether it’s a great corporate culture, solid financial standing or strong industry reputation.
  2. Evaluate workloads. One in four (25 per cent) CIOs polled for the Robert Half Technology survey said they plan on redistributing staff workloads to meet project demands. While every project may seem like a priority, there are likely some that can take a backseat to more pressing matters.
  3. Provide project support. Employees who have lost coworkers to layoffs are, in many cases, now doubling down. If hiring is not an option, consider bringing in project professionals to help alleviate workloads.
  4. Invest in professional development. Offering more training and professional development benefits both the employee and the company. Online learning opportunities, mentoring programs and tuition reimbursement are all good options.
  5. Provide opportunities for career advancement. Structure positions so employees can grow their careers without leaving your firm. Offer promotions to workers who have demonstrated they can succeed at the next level.
  6. Recognize excellence. It seems obvious, but a simple “thank you” and public acknowledgement of your staff’s contributions will strengthen their loyalty.
  7. Communicate regularly with staff. Maintain an open-door policy year-round. Workers want to hear about company news, in good times and bad.
  8. Encourage more team-building activities. No doubt, many companies have cut back on employee perks, but an occasional group activity, such as a trip to the movies or an offsite lunch, can make them feel more appreciated.
  9. Consider compensation. While not all firms can offer employees increased salaries, there may be potential for spot bonuses at the end of a major project or team accomplishment.
  10. Promote work/life balance. Give staff members the option to follow a flexible schedule or telecommute one day a week. It doesn’t cost anything to implement these changes and workers will appreciate the leeway.

With more than 100 locations worldwide, Robert Half Technology is a leading provider of technology professionals for initiatives ranging from web development and multiplatform systems integration to network security and technical support. Robert Half Technology offers online job search services at

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