By Larry K. Williams, TAG president and CEO

When I ask TAG members about their business challenges, the great resignation is often top of mind. That’s with good reason. The innovation economy is fueled by brainpower, and much of the talent in technology is job hunting.

The quit rate in the U.S. hit a record high in September 2021, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. It remains elevated as companies return to in-person working policies and businesses boost investment in digital transformation. A recent survey by TalentLMS and Workable shows that 72 percent of employees working in tech/IT are thinking of quitting their job in the next 12 months.

Clearly, tech employers need to address this problem—especially if they aspire to grow a business that lasts. Here are four ways successful organizations retain their top tech talent.

  1. Invest in leader career development: We could all use a little help navigating the workplace, and that is especially true for mid-career employees working in technology. A new TAG-Ed program—Pathways to Leadership, or P2L—is geared to elevating the careers of high-performing, up-and-coming leaders. It’s a way for companies to invest in their most powerful competitive advantage: people. Employers gain a unique opportunity to develop the next generation of technology leaders, and participants learn directly from industry experts through open discussion, hands-on projects and leadership skills training. Applications are now open for the 2022-2023 P2L class. Nominate an individual who demonstrates a desire to connect with the Georgia Business community, and to strengthen his/her career growth path.
  2. Upskill employees to cope with change and new technology: Upskilling is a sustainable and cost-effective way to help employees stay engaged in their jobs and remain relevant in a fast-changing digital economy. TAG-Ed works with the Technical College System of Georgia on upskilling IT people, and we support private and public sector programs to train workers in AI, cybersecurity, cloud computing, battery technology and other burgeoning fields.
  3. Build a culture of trust, curiosity and growth: Innovation doesn’t happen without strong leadership. It happens when teams are motivated and feel a sense of ownership. Shared value, respect and integrity are integral in any creating a positive work environment that retains talent. The most innovative companies don’t smother employees with rules, surveillance and micromanagement. They encourage curiosity and allow trusted people to learn by doing, take smart chances and challenge the status quo.
  4. Prioritize and recruit underrepresented candidates: There is a pressing need to help those in underrepresented talent pools connect with job opportunities. According to PwC, fewer than half of human resource leaders are focused on inclusive leadership. When we challenge ourselves to get outside our comfort zones in evaluating talent, everybody wins. Thanks to LaShaun Solomon, Head of DE&I Partnership Development & Strategy at Pyramid Consulting, for chairing TAG’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Society this year.
  5. Use technology to identify burnout: Advancements in AI are making it easier for organizations to increase efficiency and streamline human resource management with greater focus surfaced through data and proactive interventions from managers.

    Technology can proactively identify signs of employee burnout, track sentiment and help HR teams make data-informed decisions that improve the employee experience.

For more insights on technology and the employee experience, join TAG’s Data Science & Analytics Society. Available now, catch their Learning Series: Data Thinking Workshop on TAG’s YouTube channel, or check out the full calendar of other TAG events.