Training, Career Development and Retention of IT Professionals in IT SMEs

Introduction

In the technology era, it’s important to have good equipments and highly skilled experts in order to achieve high peaks in the market. Good people are hard to find and it’s organization’s responsibility to keep them in long run by offering different compensations and career advancement techniques. There are number of techniques and methods by which SME can retain employees for a number of years. Offering cash compensation and a high salary package always help in talent retention at a place. By providing training options to employees for their better growth is one of the most important retention tools and it gives opportunity to build strong relationship between employees and management. Most of the organizations do not realize the need of training and other facilities in order to retain employees in long run. There are number of employees who leave their jobs just because of weak relationship bond between employees and the management. Training & career developments always help employees to improve their skills and to keep them updated with the advancement of new technologies. Information technology is a little different field from others. The rate of change in information technology is higher than others. So, in information technology field, highly skilled employees are always required in order to solve complicated software structures and to deal with the high level of troubleshooting. Career development & training options provided by employer help employee to improve their skills and also help in polishing their capabilities. Career development & training techniques help an employer to keep employees for a number of years at a place.

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Training

Retaining through training is a most common phenomenon in an IT industry. IT industry needs highly qualified employees but there are number of employees and job seeker who are afraid of joining high firms due to the lack of experience. Exact and proper monitoring of employees capability helps in the retention of employees. A high proportion of IT employees recruited every year by leading management but usually leaves an organization within three to four years. To combat the problem training techniques help in solving the retention problem.

Orientation

Recurring and hiring skilled team of professionals is always a formidable task. It’s a great challenge to retain employees in long run at a place. Clearly, nowadays, there is a lot of talent who want to serve their abilities in information technology field. It’s a jobseeker market and more & more companies are recognizing the need of hardworking & talented people. Orientation plays a pivotal role in retention strategies and helps to retain employees in a long run. Orientation includes following objectives:

  • It is designed in order to clarifying the responsibilities to new employees.
  • It highly focuses on educating employees about organization, objectives, aims and mission.
  • It emphasizes to deliver an overview of cooperate policies and figures followed by the organization.
  • It ensures employee that an organization contain all the tools that could be helpful for them in achieving their high career objectives.
  • Orientation always given in such a way that every employee feels himself a part of an organization.
  • Orientation should be start with a basic company overview, company objectives should be highlighted in order to prove company stability and reputation on employees (Max, 2000).

Orientation must have all tools described in detail which will help in creating a good impression of a company over the employees. Orientation must be designed in such a way that every new employee will feel himself as a part of an organization from very first day. All management and employers should be present in order to welcome new employees. In SME orientation plays a pivotal role as a highly qualified employee always search for the best. If an employee feels that he could not utilize his skills properly in an organization he will prefer to move to the next organization. Orientation provides an overview to the employees that his selected organization has a potential by which he can prove himself.

Skill Training

Training will be helpful in an IT SME if it is highly monitored like which employee needs the training and how provided training could be useful in account of an organization. Skills training are really important as IT fields need day to day updates on technology use. Skill training gives employee a chance to polish his skills. Training facilities attract new employees towards job and organization (Sharon Daniels, 2003). Most IT employees prefer organization which provides training option before joining.

With the shortage of construction workers, training and career development techniques help employees to keep working in an industry The construction industry always attempt to recruit qualified employees, a huge number of employers and organizations are facilitating employees by providing training to keep employees active and up to date with the industry, business needs and the technologies. People who want to enter in an IT industry always consider training as a powerful tool for polishing their skills and employees are always search training options as one method to get into the field and advance their positions (Norcross, 2007). In Asia as well as in United Kingdom number of multi national organizations are providing training options to their employees in order to enhance their capabilities and polish their skills (Connie, 2007). For the most employers in United States the legal framework has great advantages but limited and indirect influence on training practices (Alan, 2008).

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Professional Training

Professional training always based on some facts and profession training must answer following questions:

  • Is there actually a need of training? What & where the need lies?
  • Who needs to be trained?
  • Who will provide the training?
  • What would be the output of provided training?
  • What form will the training take?
  • How will be the training evaluated?

For example, if sales manager feels that employees are loosing interest and they are loosing grip on market techniques he can ask for professional training from the management.

Knowledge Upgrading

Information technology is a field which requires time to time upgrading of services. Policies should be designed in such way to instigate employees to learn more and more technologies and tools in order to produce quality service. SME which organizes time to time workshops and provide knowledge upgrading facilities with financial supported always attract young talent. It’s one of the best tools for retaining employees as young talent always in search of career development opportunities.

Career Development

Information technology field is growing day by day and nowadays it’s hard to find highly skilled employees who can meet frequent change in the requirements of the customer. Meeting frequent change in requirement has become a challenge for SME. Organizations can meet this challenge by supporting employees to develop their own careers in order to increase their career satisfaction (Sylvia, 2005). This approach is consecutive along with the recommendation that organization perform a supportive role rather than being restrictive and directive role in enabling their employees’ career success (Baruch, 2006). An organization can adopt different strategies in order to increase employee’s satisfaction and to increase organization’s ability to retain and attract employees towards an organization (Lent and Brown, 2006). Organizing career management is a risky process. Organizational support for career development (OSCD) model is usually proposed to the SME in order to retain employees. OSCD is also known as organizational sponsorship and widely refers to the program and training option to enhance career success. There is always a strong link between training options with employee retention. In a particular field i.e. information technology needs high skilled employees for the continuous solution of changing demands. If an IT firm finds an expert employee then there is a strong need that organization must provide career development chances to all its employees in order to enhance their capabilities & empower them to meet the challenges of business market. The support from an employer to an employee for career development creates a strong relationship between an employee and its management.

Career Path

Career path lies under career development; there is a high rate of job leaving in such SME which left their employees unguided. Career path provides ways to employees in order to get vertical promotion and objectives (Paula, 2004). In order to create better career path in an IT field it is important to have a clear target for career development. Employees will stay and work long if an IT firms provide option for better career development (Joseph, 2006). Job enlargement and job enrichment attracts employee as every one wants to be on the top in less time so the vertical enrichment in a job always gives feeling of satisfaction to an employee with the aid of which retention objective can be made (Sylvia, 2005).

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Mentoring

Mentoring is usually needed in IT firms. It is really important that organization must arrange its resources and staff in an effective manner. New employees always take training provided by employer as a plus. Employees take training as an opportunity to improve their skills and capabilities. Workshops after working hours could be arranged for enhancing the capabilities of an employee. Richard Newton believes that mentoring has great advantages (Robert L Minter, 2000). According to the Richard Newton training provided to increase employee’s skill enhancement and workshop for educating employees with upcoming edge technologies create an organization impression in market (Anonymous, 2003). When IT employees will be aware of upcoming changes and advancement in field, they could be able to meet challenges of market.

Promotion

SME does usually follow different retention strategies in order to retain skilled employees in long run in particular industry. Promotion is one of the best tool which helps in retaining employees. If an IT employee will feel that there is a bright chance of time to time promotions so he will feel comfortable in working at a place. IT field needs strict and serious workers and if organization finds serious workers so they must provide cash compensation time to time based on performance or by providing promotion based on their previous performance. Promotion really helps in the retention of an IT employee (aging workforce, 2008).

Succession Planning

Nowadays cautious economic conditions are facing by SME succession planning has become a great challenge. Proper succession planning helps in the retention of employees as once employees will be hired after proper inquiring; it would be easy for both an employers and employee to resolve the gap between different levels of an organization. Succession planning help a lot as only skilled and expert employees comes out from strong and fair succession planning (Paul, 2008).

Expansion of Role

Different strategies are required to be implemented in proper form in order to retain employees in long run. Training and role expansion attracts employee to work for number of years in long run. Role expansion provides a clear path to all employees which help in their vertical career growth (Neelankavil, 1992).

Kirkpatrick’s learning and training evaluation theory

Kirkpatrick conducted a huge survey based on numerical facts in the year 2005. He proposed a solution to the high rate of job leaving is to provide training opportunities to employees in order to increase their attraction towards a particular job. The author emphasizes a lot on training facilities provided by the employer for enhancing employees’ skills and capabilities. He feels that training and career development are two important strategies by which an employee can be instigated in order to work at a place for long time. This theory gives complete idea of customer and student reaction after implementation of proper retention strategies (Learning & training theory, 2007).

Conclusion

This technology world is growing so fast and chances in an IT field is coming up on daily basis so there is a strong need to meet the challenges of market in order to maintain organization’s reputation. Most of the SME uses different strategies to keep employees in long run. Compensation and tangible benefits has of great significance in talent retention. However, training options and career development plans also play a pivotal role in Talent retention. There is a strong link between training option and talent retention in an IT field. Training gives an opportunity to an employee to improve and enhance their skills and empire those to meet the challenges of fast growing market. Training and career development facilities provided by employee attract employee towards an organization and new employees always take training as an option and tools for polishing their skills and to keep them updated. Training and vertical development guides also plays a pivotal role in talent retention in an IT SME.

References

Alan Clardy, 2008, Policies for Managing the Training and Development Function: Public Personnel Management; 37, 1; ABI/INFORM Global pg. 27.

Aging Workforce, 2008, Tools for promotion and retention of employees. Web.

Anonymous, 2003, Training helps to solve a retention problem Journal of European Industrial Training; 27, 5; ABI/INFORM Global pg. 264.

Baruch, Y. (2006), “Career development in organizations and beyond: balancing traditional and contemporary viewpoints”, Human Resource Management Review, Vol. 16, pp. 125-38.

Connie Zheng, 2007, School of Management and Information Systems, Central Queensland University, Queensland, Australia, and Claudine Soosay School of Management, University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia.

Greenhaus, J.H., Parasuraman, 1990, “Effects of race on organizational Experiences, job performance evaluations, and career outcomes”, Academy of Management Journal, Vol. 33, pp. 64-86.

Joseph A Tarasco, 2006, Build a Better Career Path, Nancy A Damato Journal of Accountancy; 201, 5; ABI/INFORM Global pg. 37.

Learning and training theory, 2007, learning and training theory, 2008. Web.

Max Messmer, 2000, Orientation programs can be key to employee retention, Strategic Finance; 81, 8; ABI/INFORM Global pg. 12.

Neelankavil P, 1992, Management Development and Training Programmes in Japanese Firms The Journal of Management Development; 11, 3; ABI/INFORM Global pg. 12

Norcross, 2007, Training Retains Employees Construction Bulletin. Vol.292, Iss. 50; pg. 16, 1 pgs.

Paula McDonald, 2004, School of Management, Faculty of Business, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia.

Paul, 2008, Succesison planning as a retention tool, Publication: Financial Executive. Web.

Robert L Minter, 2000, Employee development through coaching, mentoring and counseling: A multidime, Review of Business; Spring 2000; 21, 1/2; ABI/INFORM Global pg. 43.

Sharon Daniels, 2003, Employee training: A strategic approach to better return on investment, The Journal of Business Strategy; 24, 5; ABI/INFORM Global pg. 39.

Sylvia Gaffney, 2005, Career Development as a Retention and Succession Planning Tool, The Journal for Quality and Participation; 2005; 28, 3; ABI/INFORM Global pg. 7.

Sylvia Gaffney, 2005, Career Development as a Retention and Succession Planning Tool the Journal for Quality and Participation; 28, 3; ABI/INFORM Global.

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