The UK is one of tech powerhouses of the world, providing 1.64 million jobs, with an annual turnover of £170 billion. London is the Fintech capital of the world[i], with brand new niches being carved out as revolutionary new sectors emerge. Beyond that, Bristol is championing productivity at an astonishing rate, with the average tech employee generating £320,000 worth of revenue[ii].
So with things looking better than ever for the industry, why is staff turnover so high?
Last year, software ranked as the sector with the highest turnover in the country (13.2%), despite being a highly skilled and rewarding field[iii]. Within software, the roles of user experience designer, data analyst, and embedded software engineer have the highest turnover rates. The reasons for this are billed as high-demand and rising competition. Essentially, as the offers get better and better, more workers are willing to jump ship to a new workplace. At this stage, a good manager could be the deciding factor in whether an employee stays, or leaves.
Leadership and Management trainer Mike Smith of Ripley Training says a bad manager can be the final straw that sends employees running for the door:
‘Being a highly effective leader helps to reduce turnover and increases employee engagement in the business. Many team leaders are not provided any form of training to manage and lead effectively. They also struggle to prioritise areas of importance, and often quality conversations with team members are low on the list even though they are key to employee engagement and retention in the business.’
Part of what drives software developers and other tech workers away are managers who demand increasingly unreasonable workloads. With so many options to choose from, it’s no surprise that workers with some of the most sought-after skills feel they should go elsewhere.
One of the best ways to retain talented members of staff is to invest in the team leaders, manage them effectively, and keep team members progressing through industry challenges so they know they’re improving. Tech will be pivotal to the UK post-Brexit, with a dedicated workforce at the forefront of the sector.