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Post by Rich Moy on Mar 20, 2017, 12:00:00 PM

This post was updated in December 2017 with new information.

It probably wouldn’t be a stretch to say that developer hiring is one of your biggest priorities in 2017. The most obvious conclusion from this is to recruit and hire the developers you need, but it also means that staff retention is more important than ever this year. With the competition for tech talent at a fever pitch, the reality is that your current developers are likely receiving their fair share of recruitment emails. Ignoring signs of employee burnout could ultimately derail your entire developer hiring strategy this year. Here are a few things to identify and address before your most talented programmers say enough is enough and move on to greener pastures.

Developers Who Don’t Connect With Your Company Mission Are Prone to Departing

Developers have made no secret of the fact that it’s important for them to connect with their company’s mission. In fact, the developers who responded to our Developer Hiring Survey said that company mission is one of their most important job evaluation criteria.

This isn’t only applicable to developers who are actively looking for new jobs. According to SHRM, 29% of HR leaders say that a key factor in burnout is employees seeing no clear connection between their role and the corporate strategy. While it would be easy to say that everyone experiences some level of burnout, a recent survey by Kronos found that 95% of business leaders say that employee burnout is wrecking their staff retention strategies. Considering that the competition to hire developers is at a fever pitch, ignoring signs that your mission statement isn’t resonating with your tech team could ultimately lead your most talented employees to explore opportunities elsewhere.

A Lack of Trust Leads to Employee Burnout and Unnecessary Turnover

Arie Litovsky, a developer here at Stack Overflow, once wrote about the importance of trust and rapport between teammates at all levels. He argues that building rapport with your teammates is often as simple as sharing information. Litovsky adds, “Some business folks that I’ve worked with in the past don’t like to talk. Isn’t it better to be secretive about your work and get ahead of your co-workers in this dog eat dog world?”

The folks at PwC tend to agree. Its 2016 global CEO survey found that 55% of respondents think that a lack of trust is a threat to their organization’s growth. Considering how eager many developers are to share knowledge and learn from one another, it should come as no surprise that secretive and cutthroat office environments will eventually motivate them to look for greener pastures. While a compelling mission statement is a start, it’s important for your organization to follow through on the promises it makes employees. Your first reaction might be to brainstorm employee retention ideas to combat this, but opening up your leadership team for conversations with your developers is an excellent way to start establishing trust with them.

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