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The Value of Employee Development

Attrition in software development is an issue most IT outsourcing companies take seriously as it can wreak havoc on an otherwise successful outsourcing engagement. With a turnover rate exceeding that of retail and media at 13.2% and the average tech tenure at tech giants ranging from just 2.02 years at Facebook to 1.23 years at Uber, it's no wonder companies are trying to find better ways to engage and keep employees.

Because of the unique challenges the tech industry poses in terms of attrition and tenure, more and more companies are looking for non-traditional options to achieve their technology goals. Offshore software development has become an extremely viable option when US-based companies are unable to retain or find the high-quality talent they need locally. However, that then makes it even more important for those outsourcing to find partners that have robust programs in place to cut attrition and retain employees.

Employee Development May be the Key

For nearshore software outsourcing companies, employee engagement is a critical component in preventing attrition. While some companies may focus on providing benefits and flexible work environments to develop stronger relationships with their employees, giving their employees opportunities to grow and develop new skills, and creating an employee-centric culture may work better to strengthen retention and overall engagement.

And, engaged employees pay off heavily. According to Gallup, companies with engaged employees are more productive, achieve higher sales and are more profitable. As a purpose-driven nearshore software development company, we strive to create a culture of continuous learning and development. At PSL, we recognize that we still have a lot to learn in terms of employee engagement, but we are driven to help our employees find meaning through what they do, both on a professional and personal level, which will also benefit our outsourcing clients looking for more stable talent. We've highlighted some of the things that have worked best for us in terms of engaging employees in their own development.

Individual Development Plans

It's easy for employees to feel forgotten in the daily grind, which can lead to a steady decline in performance and indifference. Business Solver found that 31% of workers believe employers only care about profits and don't care as much about employees, while only 26% of millennials feel their employers are invested in their professional development. To help combat these perceptions, companies may choose to implement an individual development plan. This powerful tool helps employees map out their skills, set goals, and determine tasks they need to perform to achieve them.

At PSL, we aid in our employees' development by taking the information collected during our recruitment process, as well as feedback from teammates and other work colleagues to help frame individual skill development maps. These documents include concrete actions and goals that employees set for themselves and gives them defined objectives to work towards.

Provide Valuable Feedback

No matter how much of a self-development process must be driven by the employee themselves, it's important they feel supported by management and their teammates. Making sure employees receive valuable feedback aimed at fine-tuning their development process will ensure workers take steps that lead to career advancement and establish mentorships or relationships based on trust and respect.

PSL takes this phase a step further with Lighthouse, its proprietary tool for skill development and career mapping. Through it, an employee can evaluate themselves in several skills, as well as request assessments in various areas from their coworkers and mentors. The easy-to-use platform allows them to quantify assessment results and visualize a roadmap for achieving their professional goals.

Make Resources Available in the IT outsourcing process

Employees should drive their own development, but that doesn't mean that some of the responsibility doesn't also fall on their employer's plate. Making sure their workforce has access to several resources and feels comfortable asking for courses and certifications will immediately convey the message that the company is willing to invest in their employees.

At PSL, we believe in making sure our employees reach a level of fulfillment and development that aligns with their career goals. In 2018, we completed over 67,000 hours of training, more than 58 lunch and learns and over 41 training sessions to power our community's development. Our goal is to give our teams the tools they need to drive their own skills' development and map out a strategy for their own career's advancement.

Self-governance As the Key to Excellence 

Ultimately, it's an employee's job to be the driving force behind their own development journey. Because it comes down to the employee's own desire and self-discipline to determine how much they can learn about various topics, what types of projects they can participate in, and what specialty they can develop, a company can only go so far to ensure employees reach their highest potential. However, we've found that a strong culture of excellence, continuous learning, innovation, and leading by example is a great source of motivation for individuals to direct their own advancement.

Our team at PSL has responded spectacularly, with many of our interns going on to junior development positions and finding their own niche or interest. It's not uncommon to find a senior developer in PSL that started out as an intern or a junior resource, and steadily became an experienced specialist in his or her field.

We are always looking for dynamic, talented individuals that love a good challenge, so if that sounds like you, click on the link below to apply to our team. 

Does this sound interesting? We'd love to hear from you.

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Monday, 01 June 2020

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