Retention, Retirement, and Recruitment: The Shape of Modern IT Teams
Skillsoft’s annual IT Skills and Salary survey revealed that the top two issues facing IT teams in 2023 are talent retention (30%) and recruitment (24%). As more of the Baby Boomer generation enter retirement age, IT teams are also facing legacy skill gaps. So why are people leaving, what problems does it cause for organizations, and how can any IT team combat these issues? Read on to find out!
Why Are People Leaving?
It may be unsurprising to find out compensation is the top issue on people’s minds - but what IS surprising to employers is how willing younger generations are to leave in search of higher pay. Over half of IT professionals said in the Skillsoft survey that they were somewhat or extremely likely to leave their post in the next year for the following reasons (see the survey for the full list):
- Increase in Compensation - 38%
- Lack of Training, Development - 33%
- Lack of Work-life Balance - 25%
While older generations stayed in an organization for their entire career with the promise of a retirement plan, today’s workforce changes jobs every 2.73 years (according to Career Sidekick). And it’s no wonder why - employees who remain with the same employer may only receive 2-3% raises each year, job seekers moving to new organizations typically ask for 10-20% more than their previous salary.
Training and development come in second place on the list and have big impacts on overall job satisfaction. The learning curve in the IT industry is higher than in nearly every other industry due to the rapid changes in technologies and evolving threats from innovative hackers. IT professionals that are not offered training and development opportunities to keep up with these changes experience added stressors that make an employment move worthwhile.
As people leave current employers and move on to the next, the teams that are losing members are feeling the effects. This can result in a ripple effect for IT and HR leaders.
What Issues Arise from the Three Rs?
Issue 1: Lack of Legacy Skills
Digital transformation was embraced by many larger organizations, but SMBs have been less enthusiastic about the investment. This leaves a lot of businesses operating on legacy systems that are outdated and challenging - especially for incoming IT professionals who have no training or technical knowledge on those systems. With the retirement of IT professionals, businesses are experiencing significant skill gaps for those legacy systems.
Issue 2: Work Overload
As teammates leave, responsibilities shift to other team members - sometimes temporarily, sometimes permanently. This adds to the plates of already overloaded IT professionals. A study by wellbeing platform Yerbo of more than 36,000 IT professionals found that 62% report being “physically and emotionally drained.” Adding the responsibilities of a departed team member to someone’s workload can cause a ripple effect of more team members leaving.
Issue 3: Skill Gaps
Perhaps the most obvious issue when team members leave is the skill gaps left in their wake. With 66% of IT decision-makers already reporting skill gaps on their teams, according to the Skillsoft survey, any team departures leave the organization vulnerable. Modern IT teams already struggling to keep up with changing technologies and lacking in skill overlap take a significant hit when losing a specialized IT professional. The impact of skill gaps on the organization, including increased employee stress (47%), slower resolution times (38%), and decreased ability to meet business objectives (34%), weigh on the business’s bottom line.
Issue 4: Confusion in Roles and Responsibilities
According to the Skillsoft survey, less than 10% of IT teams will go into the office regularly in the coming year. While remote work has offered new opportunities for building the best teams regardless of geography, it poses communication challenges that leave team members confused and frustrated. With many IT teams working in silos, communication gaps widen as team members leave. Instead of clearly communicated shifts of roles and responsibilities as teams change, siloed communications lead to responsibility confusion and passing the buck - resulting in slow resolution times.
Issue 5: Employee Morale
Overwhelmed, overworked, under trained. One of the worst cycles an organization can fall into is depleted employee morale after team members leave, which causes more employees to choose to leave. To reiterate, over half of It professionals surveyed by Skillsoft are somewhat or extremely likely to leave their current roles in the next year. Low employee morale will only push that decision forward for them.
Why INE? How Upskilling Helps
So what’s the silver bullet for your retention, recruiting, and retirement problems? In truth, there’s no one magic solution - but upskilling seems to be a top contender.
Training programs with a variety of learning options, skill levels, skill assessment, and tracking can be the fastest way to boost employee morale while closing skill gaps. INE offers hands-on training in Networking, Cybersecurity, and Cloud Computing, at all proficiency levels, to empower continuous learning for every member of your team. Our targeted training offers training data to IT leaders and customized playlists to ensure your team is learning in high-need areas.
One of the biggest obstacles to successfully implementing a training program - time. If your IT pros are already overloaded, how can you ask them to spend MORE time on training? INE offers asynchronous training so they can work at their own pace on their own. Businesses that incentivize training by shifting workloads or providing bonuses for training completion see better long-term results.
Want to learn more about how to partner with INE as your IT training platform? Get a demo from our team now!