Editor’s note: The following is a guest post by Gabriela Vogel, senior director analyst at Gartner, Inc.
Organizations across the world are racing to compress decades worth of digital transformation and technology adoption into only a few years. This changes the IT talent search significantly, escalating competition to secure top technology talent.
While there have been slight improvements, the talent competition remains fierce.
Furthermore, employee preferences have shifted and voluntary turnover is on the rise. In fact, a Gartner survey found that only one-third of IT employees have a high intent to stay in their organizations.
Factors such as restricted supplies of talent and the ongoing effects of the pandemic altered the employer-employee relationship. Employees desire greater value from their jobs in areas such as salary, work-life balance, respect, stability and a flexible location.
The global increase in demand for IT professionals means CIOs must reinvent their employee value proposition (EVP) to attract and retain critical talent. Now, more than ever, CIOs must take charge of designing a human-centered EVP. If not, they will face increased turnover in their critical tech roles, putting the digital transformation of their organization at risk.
Workforce strategy planning
Accelerating digital transformation can be challenging knowing the IT talent crunch will not subside quickly.
CIOs can make sure workforce needs are met through workforce planning. Begin workforce planning by outlining workforce needs and risks for the next two to five years, to identify the necessary investments to make now and the risk scenarios to mitigate.
Many organizations do not consciously articulate EVP strategies at the enterprise level. Therefore, CIOs have a responsibility to address technology talent risks.
CIOs can implement actions to help address immediate issues, such as running a diagnostic to identify talent challenges that may be occurring, while structuring a response to technology talent expectations.
Adopting the human deal
There are three shifts happening in the future of work that are impacting IT employees and organizations:
1. Employees want to be seen as people, not just workers:
Management strategies emphasize the need to recognize the human challenges that employees face, shifting from purely a project management approach to a people management approach.
There is an increased need for personalization and employees’ ownership of their day-to-day experience to meet their unique needs, instead of a one-size-fits-all-workers approach. Define EVP around the entire person, rather than around the worker.
2. Work-life harmonization:
Work is a subset of life, not separate from it. The traditional division between work and life is no longer possible or desirable in today’s work environment.
Instead, work is increasingly viewed as a subset of employees’ lives to be harmonized, not separated. Harmonization of work and life is personal; rather than imposing how work should be harmonized, allow employees the autonomy to decide.
3. Center on feelings rather than features: Focusing on what employees need in their personal lives and their work lives, and why they want to work for their current organization, will reveal their major motivators. Rather than defining EVP around attributes, define it around experiences.
These three shifts require organizations to humanize the employee experience and bring the human deal to life.
The human deal is made up of five components: deeper connections, radical flexibility, personal growth, holistic well-being and purpose. The human deal offers several benefits such as an increase in high performers, increase in intent to stay and increase in employees’ well-being.
Connect the organization with employees’ life experience and the whole person’s identity, and highlight the feelings that positive experience can create between employee and employer.
Make your EVP more adaptive
Organizations that capture the elements employees care about most and adapt both their messaging and their investment accordingly are more successful in attracting and retaining top talent.
Executives must build a relevant set of attributes that people perceive as the personal value they gain from employment. To achieve this, CIOs need to recognize the cues and triggers of change that impact people.
With economic shifts, IT employees are more inclined toward organizations with a growth trajectory.
Being aware of this preference, CIOs can adapt their communication and shed light on elements of the EVP related to growth. For example, highlight growth opportunities within the team, business units and the global environment.
Once these cues are identified, CIOs can reframe the human deal by listening actively to employees and candidates.
Today, the IT talent market is borderless as there has been a clear trend of shifting from work from home to work from anywhere. Tech workers in different age groups, regions and seniority levels have different expectations about the future of work.
CIOs must consider segmented drivers of talent attraction and retention to maintain competitiveness. Focusing EVP on the whole person will build a more human employment deal and help CIOs teams navigate the continually evolving IT talent landscape.