Our average staff tenure at Pronto Software is over 10 years. I’ve worked at the organisation for 13 years – and we have staff who’ve celebrated their 30th anniversary. I’m often asked how we achieve these results.
Despite the stats about job-hopping becoming the norm, especially in our IT industry, Pronto Software is proof that long tenures don’t have to be a relic in Australia. To be successful, I believe you need to focus less on employee retention and more on talent management. An employee’s choice to be a productive and loyal member of your team should be a natural outcome of the strong, mutually beneficial relationship they have with you – rather than a type of entrapment.
Collaboration builds passion
Offering compensation that is comparable to similar businesses and industries can help you retain talent – however this is not the all-encompassing solution to managing great talent.
Are you likely to accept a high paying job at a business known to have poor values, ethics and a toxic culture? The best workplaces give their employees a sense of purpose. When the business you work with shares your values, you have the common ground needed to build a strong relationship and be more engaged. People inherently want to work alongside colleagues they trust and respect. We spend the longer portion of our days at work and being in a positive and nurturing environment can be critical to our professional development and mental health. Are your managers able to coach employees and set them up to succeed?
Pronto employees tell us that one of the key reasons for their loyalty is our culture. We have created a highly collaborative environment that presents multiple opportunities for employees to leverage each other’s strengths and fulfil professional goals. One example is Pronto’s annual hackathon, which supports intrapreneurship, giving employees the time and opportunity to incubate fresh ideas. These types of activities are enjoyable and fuel the passion we have for the work we do. Every year our judges struggle to pick a winner as the hacks or ideas are inspired and bold, each in their own way.
To nurture exceptional talent, it’s critical to offer employees a clear development path and make acquiring new skills part of their role. Pronto’s focus on innovation has enabled us to achieve this. In fact, two of our highest growth divisions are a result of staff-led initiatives.
Our continued growth also means we attract new partners and employeesfrom diverse backgrounds, with different expertise. This creates additional learning opportunities for all of us.
Recognition drives loyalty
An unexpected compliment is often a delightful treat. Along a similar vein, showing appreciation to team members who’ve put in long hours for a project or achieved a great result is highly rewarding for the individual and motivates others.
It can be difficult to find the time to do this but every minute you spend recognising achievement is bound to provide rich dividends in building strong staff engagement and loyalty. We have large honour boards in Pronto Software offices to shine a spotlight on our longest serving staff who have helped build our successful business. Many new hires tell us that this is a very impressive testament to how much we value our employees.
A word of caution. It’s important to understand that all employees have commitments outside the business. The extra effort from an employee could at times, come at a significant personal cost. Even your highest performer will jump ship if they’re overworked consistently. To manage your talent, ensure you evaluate their commitments and keep expectations at a reasonable level – that’s the foundation of long-term success.
Empowerment enables high performance
Everyone likes to excel at their work and having the right tools can make that possible. For example, retail staff can’t increase sales of the trending item if your warehouse staff didn’t dispatch it on time or if the merchandising manager didn’t have the data to spot the trend and order more.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and automation is the next frontier. Developments in this area is already helping businesses to make smarter and more grounded decisions. Mundane, low value tasks can be reduced, giving employees the time to engage in more strategic and fulfilling activities. In the next 18 to 24 months, more Australian companies will modernise jobs, integrating AI and automation to complement and enhance employee activities.
As our workplaces change and new generations enter the workforce, it becomes necessary for organisations to adapt to shifting needs and desires. Creating the right culture, recognising achievers and providing the best tools to support excellence will help you better manage your greatest assets.
Chad Gates, Managing Director, Pronto Software.