Workiva Ranks #1 for Employee Retention on Best Places to Work in IT annual list
The world of work has changed but what has this meant to job expectations? In our 28th annual Best Places to Work in IT report, we reveal what IT pros really want from their job and which employers are investing in their futures.
In some respects, it would be fair to expect staff retention scores to reflect rankings such as career development, which is considered a top concern for the majority of IT pros and yet just three companies feature in both top tens - Owens Corning (ranked #1 in large companies), Erickson Living (ranked #17 in large companies) and Tractor Supply Company (ranked #14 in large companies).
So, what really drives staff retention? Inevitably, leadership plays a big role in generating and maintaining a culture that keeps staff challenged, engaged, respected and inspired. For Workiva Inc. (NYSE:WK), our top ranked company in staff retention (ranked #12 in medium size companies), culture appears to be the foundation for its success.
A software-as-a-service company in Iowa, Workiva claims it has established a results-driven culture that empowers employees to take and own action. “IT employees are encouraged to make their position or role their own - this is a true luxury that any entrepreneurial-minded employee can appreciate, and a key to employee retention,” says one employee.
With an IT team of 67 this may, in theory, be easier to do than in, say, Red Hat (ranked #3 in large companies) with its IT team of 420 but not insurmountable. Empowering employees, treating them with respect and giving them room to grow on their terms can, it seems work wonders but that comes down to trust, on both sides.
For Cloud for Good, it appears that a mix of flexible working (the workforce is now totally virtual allowing for work/life balance) and enabling its team to develop beyond the business through a $2,000 a year donation, are paying dividends. All employees surveyed had great things to say about the company, from its education and training focus (it’s also ranked #5 in training) through to enabling a positive culture despite remote working. Like Workiva, there seems to be a lot of trust between the workforce and leadership and this is of course reflected in the retention ranking.
This is also true at Erickson Living, a Maryland-based retirement communities operator, ranked #17 in large companies. With an IT team of 150, the business clearly strives to be a diverse and encouraging employer (it’s ranked #7 in both diversity and training and #8 in career development). IT pros working at the company use words such as “respect”, “honesty”, “empowerment”, “openness” and “encouragement” to describe their experience and reason for working at the company.
Of course, all businesses can claim to instill ideals, create policies and throw money at tools and services but when it comes down to it, it has to mean something to those doing the actual work. While not every business gets it right all of the time, there is never any harm in putting the workforce first. That’s the long-term game. Anything else will just be found wanting.