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Retaining Top Developersby samizdat (Vicar)
|on Jun 28, 2007 at 17:54 UTC||Need Help??|
Hello, all -
My company's product development organization is doing some self examination WRT the costs of employee turnover at the top developer levels. Its policy to date has been "schedule it and burn them," and, especially as a former business owner, I have to say that the company's success says that at one time that might not have been the wrong choice.
Our company is a hardware systems company that made its place by making generic PCs better, faster, and cheaper than everybody else's, and getting them into the hands of custoers faster.
Now, as we grow, our products are more and more differentiated by unique firmware and software that we develop, and the costs of losing any one senior software developer are more and more the root cause of schedule slips in new products. Not only do we lose the skills of the developer, we also lose the "tribal knowledge" of how our existing systems work together.
I've found some good links about strategies and concepts for retention, and I'm sure there are more good ones out there.
Spolsky, Joel: "The goal here is to manage by making people identify with the goals you're trying to achieve. That's a lot trickier than the other methods, and it requires some serious interpersonal skills to pull off. But if you do it right, it works better than any other method."I'm looking for links that specifically talk about the costs of letting good people walk away. Can you help?
Cramm, Susan: "Succession planning efforts break down because leadership development plans for "high potentials" are driven from a top-down assessment of the needs of the enterprise. In effect, these plans assume the individual wishes to be developed in whatever direction the organization deems necessary."
Jon Katzenbach, co-author of The Wisdom of Teams and a consultant specialising in workforce performance, says strong performance goals are essential for maximising the value of small teams. "If groups want to achieve team performance, the most important factor is not the leader of the team; it is the clarity around the performance purpose for that group," he says. "The more clear and compelling that is, the more naturally those people will function as a team."
Lengyel, David (NASA): "In addition, we continue to emphasize quality of work-life initiatives such as alternative work schedules, family friendly leave programs, part-time employment and job sharing, telecommuting, dependent day car and employee assistance programs. Promoting SAFETY in the workplace, providing effective awards, recognition and stimulating work will enhance job satisfaction and foster retention."
"There's more than one level to any answer."