The IT sector is heating back up again, and as such, salaries (at least in Australia) are increasing. With this increase however comes the challenge of retention of good staff. Most people see this as having to pay higher and higher salaries but I believe there are other options.
I was reading an article in a recent Campus Review entitled “Wellness & retention” which discussed some of these options.
Universities have traditionally not been the highest paid positions, so retention of good IT staff in this climate is becoming an increasing problem. The University of South Australia has tried a different approach to just competing on salaries.
Over the past five years, its 100-strong IT team has been the focus of a wellness program aimed at encouraging employees and recruitment prospects to view the university as an employer of choice.
Some of the things that UniSA has undertaken are gym passes, weekly exercise programs, fresh fruit, fruit juices in summer, and soup in winter.
What they found was this focus on health of their staff resulted in a drop in attrition to 2%. It also had side benefits
The program costs about $15,000 a year but pays for itself with a reduction in sick days.
I believe there are a number of factors beyond just pure salary that influences a person’s decision to stay with a company. Things like culture, colleagues/team, stress, management and how much the company values them.
At Ephox we’ve always had a great culture of fun. In addition, we have a great coffee machine, go to the pub on Friday’s for roast lunch and have beers at the end of the week.
Recently I asked the team what additional things we’d like to have in the office. I was looking for suggestions that meet one or more of the following criteria;
- Team Building
- Health & Well Being
I got some interesting responses including fresh fruit, monthly neck/shoulder massages and quarterly team events. So we’ve started getting in fresh fruit, are about to trial in office massage and have nominated one of the team to be the coordinator for a team event.
I’d be really interested in what other companies are doing to retain great staff other than paying higher salaries.