How to strengthen your employee relationships (and Computerworld’s 100 Best Places to Work)

Each year, Computerworld compiles a list of the 100 Best Places to Work in IT. The rankings are based on survey results from employees at more than 500 companies across the country. This year, more than 38,000 IT pros completed the survey, ranking their satisfaction with the training and development programs, compensation, benefits, work/life balance, and career growth opportunities offered by their employers.

Without a doubt, the recent economic climate has created new challenges for employers in terms of retaining, engaging, and satisfying employees while also keeping in mind their obligations (financial and otherwise) to other company stakeholders. And yet, the organizations included in this list serve as evidence that it is possible to have strong relationships with your employees even when raises and bonuses might not be flowing as freely as before.

I encourage you to review the companies on this list and read about how they have developed and retained a positive work environment for their most valuable asset. Now think about your own workforce management policies and perks.

How does your company compare? Fall short? Don't worry. Seize the chance to build a better workplace, and give your employees a reason to stay with you once other job opportunities start coming their way.

Over the past few months, we've shared with you creative methods for boosting employee morale and retention. In this month's Computerworld issue, I present some new alternatives.

First, determine what the employment situation at your organization is like, and be honest with yourself. Sugarcoating the truth might make you feel better in the moment, but it's not going to do you any good in the future. What perks or privileges were scaled back or revoked during the recession? What is the current and projected workload of your employees?

Second, communicate these findings -- again, honestly -- with your employees, and give them a peak at the company and employment road map for the near future. Share any upcoming challenges and solicit feedback on how to proceed. Engagement is key to making your employees feel valued, and could yield solutions that might otherwise have gone undiscovered.

I won't reveal too much more, because I would like you to check out the full article, but remember that it's never too late to improve your workforce management processes. Your employees really are your most valuable asset, and you're going to need them to succeed in the future. So put in the time and research now to strengthen these relationships and give them a reason to stay.


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