Canadian CIOs getting smarter

Businesses today are taking steps to persuade valued staff to stay – and they don’t involve a ball and chain.

In fact, 58 per cent of chief information officers (CIOs) polled said they’re providing professional development opportunities to retain their best people.

Offering flexible schedules and increasing base compensation also are popular retention strategies, among 41 per cent and 40 per cent of respondents, respectively.

The poll includes responses from more than 270 CIOs from a stratified random sample of Canadian companies with 100 or more employees. It was conducted by an independent research firm and developed by Robert HalfTechnology, a leading provider of information technology professionals on a project and full-time basis.

Robert Half Technology is a provider of technology professionals for initiatives ranging from Web development and multiplatform systems integration to network security and technical support.

CIOs were asked, “What steps, if any, is your firm taking to retain key IT talent?” Their responses:

Providing training or professional development..58 per cent

Offering flexible schedules ……..41 per cent

Increasing base compensation ……. 40 per cent

Offering bonuses ……………….39 per cent

Offering equity incentives …… seven per cent

Other ………………………..four per cent

None/no steps taken ……………..25 per cent

(Multiple responses were allowed.)

“As the number of job opportunities for IT professionals increases, many CIOs are making retention a priority,” said Katherine Spencer Lee, executive director of Robert Half Technology. “Firms recognize that technology workers, in particular, value ongoing educational opportunities to enable them to keep their skills current and continue learning on the job.”

Lee added that effective retention programs also address work-life balance and salary issues. “Offering flexible schedules or telecommuting options is a cost-effective way to improve overall job satisfaction, show appreciation and build loyalty. Competitive compensation packages are equally important and demonstrate to employees that their contributions are valued.”

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