Staff retention has been the concern of HR in the past, but a new multi-disciplinary approach is being driven by the vital contribution the CIO can make towards employee satisfaction.
Enabling flexible and remote working is one example, promoting a team culture through setting up social networking systems is another, while making the organization more environmentally friendly is a third.
The top challenges for retaining staff are managing a changing demographic and retaining the cream of a dwindling pool of young staff, while holding on to the older baby boomers, according to Boston Consulting Group. It came to this conclusion in its report for the European Association for Personnel Management, Key challenges through 2015.
It also identified managing work-life balance as one of the top five challenges in keeping staff. "Employees are increasingly selecting -- or rejecting -- jobs based on how well they can achieve work-life balance or advance personal goals and values," it says.
"In order to attract and retain highly talented individuals, companies will therefore need to offer flexible work arrangements. They will also need to appeal to employees' growing desire to derive a sense of greater purpose from their work."
The report recommends companies implementing programs that allow employees to work from home and that advance corporate social responsibility.
A one-size-fits-all approach does not work for staff retention issues and this is where the CIO can come in, tailoring technology to appeal to the concerns of different generations of workers. Andrew Walker, research director at Gartner Executive Programs, identifies three generations of employees. Generation Y, today's under 30s, have a global and environmental perspective and expect to work virtually and use instant messaging (IM). Generation X are 30 to 42 year olds who prefer web-based and email communication and are focused on work-life balance. The baby boomers (aged over 43) are prepared to work long hours and are less focused on technology or wider environmental issues.
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