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5 Ways To Lose Your Best IT Talent
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Michelle
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Michelle,
User Rank: Ninja
12/9/2015 | 11:36:02 AM
Scheduled tedium, canceled fun.
This is great advice! I have worked in a place that decided the best way to cut costs was to track every second spent on everything. They thought all departments must be wasting a lot of time and resources so it made sense to management at the time. This tactic effectively cancelled all fun since there was to be no more than a 10 minute gap between tasks...
Technocrati
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Technocrati,
User Rank: Ninja
12/9/2015 | 8:07:19 PM
Re: Scheduled tedium, canceled fun.

This was great advice for keeping IT Talent.  I also agree with the notion that fun must be a part of the picture. 

Some people will be more productive when there is a balance of fun and work and some will of course take advantage of it, those who do should be managed very carefully and while I do not support letting people go in this economy, it may very well be needed for those who think the entire day is made for play.

SaneIT
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SaneIT,
User Rank: Ninja
12/10/2015 | 8:28:47 AM
Re: Scheduled tedium, canceled fun.
That sounds like a very short sighted plan.  The lower performers will just work slower nearly crawling then take the full 10 minutes before getting on to the next task.  Your high performers will work until they need a break then feel rushed to get back to work rather than feel like they have the time to reset.  I have never tried to time myself between tasks but I know I spend most of the day switching from task to task and take breaks a regular times to fill up a cup, have lunch, etc.   I think slower workers have their place too, at some point you need someone who is OK spending hours poring over a really boring task.  Most of your high performers want to get those tiresome tasks over with and move on to something they enjoy working on.  
Michelle
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Michelle,
User Rank: Ninja
12/29/2015 | 6:56:32 PM
Re: Scheduled tedium, canceled fun.
@SaneIT it was awful. We tracked time like this for at least 2 years. Everyone grew sick of this method very quickly. I don't know if the data yeilded any new insights. 
SaneIT
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SaneIT,
User Rank: Ninja
12/30/2015 | 8:40:22 AM
Re: Scheduled tedium, canceled fun.
It sounds like the experiment ended and there wasn't much communication about its success so there probably wasn't much good that came out of it. Technical roles are often hard to measure so it really is no wonder that companies take chances with seemingly crazy methods of doing so.
PedroGonzales
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PedroGonzales,
User Rank: Ninja
12/9/2015 | 12:30:13 PM
making all employees high performers
I think this is difficult because companies since they must tailor to two types of employees, high and low performance.  It would be interesting to know whether low performance employees have the potential to become high performance. High performance can add value to the companies while low performance seem to work to just keep the wheel running.
TerryB
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TerryB,
User Rank: Ninja
12/9/2015 | 1:12:38 PM
Re: making all employees high performers
@Pedro, do you really think Mark Sanchez is suddenly going to turn into Aaron Rodgers and win the NFL's MVP award? Ever?

Just like you can't fix stupid, you can't teach talent. Some things are just God given.

I'm sure you are trying to make point that every employee should have opportunity to learn, especially if just coming in at entry levels. But that's not what article was talking about.
jagibbons
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jagibbons,
User Rank: Ninja
12/9/2015 | 3:53:59 PM
Re: making all employees high performers
Agreed on several counts. Routine maintenance is important, but it shouldn't be the goal or, as the article states, the "focus." We do it because it's the right thing to do and in the best interest of all involved. If our shop becomes all about maintenance, the top performers, the MVPs are going to leave.

As to helping poor performers grow, don't bother. All people deserve a chance. If they have demonstrated on more than one occasion that they aren't going to take the chance offered, look for a way to move them out. The top performers who bring value to the company shouldn't have to put up with peers who are just riding coat tails.
Li Tan
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Li Tan,
User Rank: Ninja
12/13/2015 | 10:31:22 PM
Re: making all employees high performers
For a company, it's important to keep 20%, 70% and 10% distribution. Managing out low-performers is necessary if they do not improve. In this way the company can upgrade the team continuously.
mejiac
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mejiac,
User Rank: Ninja
12/14/2015 | 12:52:40 PM
Re: making all employees high performers
@Pedro Gonazles,

To add to your comment, what I've been able to experiment is that for low performers they hold positionst that are mostly taylored to them (usually related to task and ticket management). It's predictable and requires no "thinking" effort aside from doing the same task 1001 times.

What also happens is that folks that start out in does roles quickly move on to better things, and this is very notable, since you'll see them ask the question "why can't we try doing things this way?"

I've also seen what happens when low performance coast in there sits...their entire department gets laid off.
vnewman2
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vnewman2,
User Rank: Ninja
12/14/2015 | 3:14:56 PM
Re: making all employees high performers
I can completely relate to the bureaucracy item: Bog people down with so many administrative tasks that they do not have time to do actual work. When I come in every day, I have to go to a different floor where our receptionist sits and fill out a sign in sheet as to when I arrive - this is supposedly so that if there is a fire or other disaster, HR knows who is in the building, but the mangers don't have to sign in every day. HMMMM. So that's the paper time sheet, but then I have to fill in an electronic time sheet in order to get paid. If I want to take time off, I have to first fill out a paper form, get it signed by my manager, even it is for an hour, interoffice it to HR, then schedule it on a department calendar in a color coded to my LAN ID. I have a second boss, so I have to do the same on her team's shared calendar as well. Then, the day before, I have to send a list of pending items, along with a reminder to the team that I will be out. Then I record the time off in the electronic timesheet. If I give someone a loaner laptop, I have to mark it down on a white board, fill out paperwork saying which one they were given, make them sign it, then record it into a calendar. These are just examples of how EVERYTHING operates where I work - we are a satellite office and I feel as if they don't trust us, frankly.
mejiac
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mejiac,
User Rank: Ninja
12/14/2015 | 4:32:30 PM
Re: making all employees high performers
@vnewman2,

I can relate.... I'm a consultant working at a client site, and many times I have to go through the same hoops and ladders and duplicate tasks (different systems, differente email sets) to get one thing done. I know that my parent company tries to be as efficient as possible, but the client site is a little bit archaic at times... but their staff doesn't complaint since this is all the know (many have 20-30+ years with the company) so they can't make out the forest from the trees.
Broadway0474
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Broadway0474,
User Rank: Ninja
12/14/2015 | 11:27:05 PM
Re: making all employees high performers
vnewman, I once worked in a satellite office, and there definitely was a sense from the parent office of distrust. I know we can't generalize the whole relationship across organizations --- I was working in a small midsize family-run company with only a handful of offices --- but I can say that it led to some idiotic rules being perpetrated by the parent office on us.
zerox203
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zerox203,
User Rank: Ninja
12/9/2015 | 12:37:41 PM
5 Ways To Lose Your Best IT Talent
Good advice in itself (look for the opposite of the status quo to satisfy good employees), but in some places a bit too broad for my tastes. Everyone hates bureacracy when it gets in their way (low-level employees would say management are the ones who love it!) Everyone thinks they're a good employee, and confirmation bias is bound to kick in when your expense isn't funded (the other guy's is dumb!) Like it or not, some time that routine maintenance does have to get done, and if the same innovation-lover from number two volunteers to do it with gumption when that time comes, that may prove he's all the more valuable.  In other words, many of these seem subjective or not mutually exclusive. Plus, Plenty of orgs may be mandated by compliance or security reasons to avoid these rules, and while there's culture advice to be taken to heart, they also have to judge their employees by unique standards.
jastroff
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jastroff,
User Rank: Ninja
12/13/2015 | 11:22:35 AM
Why People Leave, Why People Stay
Taking a 360 degree view, I suspect people leave or stay based on a variety of personal factors including salary, job choice, family needs, age, and mobility, just to mention a few.

At the mid-to top of the IT food chain, people often have many choices other than where they currently are working. And at times, there's little the employer can do to keep IT talent from leaving.
Broadway0474
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Broadway0474,
User Rank: Ninja
12/13/2015 | 2:50:24 PM
Re: Why People Leave, Why People Stay
@jastroff, you are correct in that there are factors beyond an employer's control. One big one, for instance, is whether someone has friends at work. If they do, they would be hesitant to leave. It's a simplification, sure. But it would take more to get someone to leave than if someone was a little lonelier at work.
jastroff
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jastroff,
User Rank: Ninja
12/13/2015 | 2:52:39 PM
Re: Why People Leave, Why People Stay
@broadway -- good point -- people have to be happy in their group/have friends/people they like in order to dig in and stay -- 
kstaron
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kstaron,
User Rank: Ninja
12/22/2015 | 11:09:30 AM
Gotta get outta here buttons
I think these managed to hit all the major 'gotta get outta here' buttons. Someone I know just recently switched jobs and his old company had it all, the bureaucracy, the no fun (as in we don't trust anyone so no one can telecommute, ever), the routine maintenance, perpetual lack of budget, lack of innovation (as in training, we don't need training.) He loves the people at his job but the job was no longer challenging. Anyone else got a way to lose your IT talent? For me i think micromanaging is a big one.


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