Main image of article Managers: How Can You Retain Your Tech Pros?

If you’re a manager or team leader, you might have struggled over the past few years to retain your best and brightest tech professionals. A low tech unemployment rate, combined with opportunities in multiple industries, means specialists have choices when it comes to where they work—and for how much.

What’s the best way to prevent your best team members from walking out the door? According to a new Stack Overflow survey of 2,600+ technologists, it’s not just cash: some 58 percent of respondents said that “flexibility” would keep them in their current roles, followed by salary (54 percent) and learning opportunities (also 54 percent).

And that’s not all: companies that focus on providing a great atmosphere for development are more likely to retain their most talented folks. “Respondents cite a focus on the developer experience (42 percent), the product or solution the company is selling (35 percent), and learning from individuals outside of their team (34 percent) as the top factors that make a company more appealing to work for now or in the future,” read the note accompanying Stack Overflow’s data. “The 25-34 year old age group, whom we know are more likely to be looking for new roles, rate developer experience (47 percent) and the product the company is selling (39 percent) higher than their older and younger peers.”

What powers a “great atmosphere for development”? That hinges on the team and company, but transparency is a huge factor—tech professionals don’t like it when they’re siloed off from the broader organization, or when they can’t get answers to their most pressing questions. An abundance of resources, including the latest tools, is likewise important.

Stack Overflow isn’t the only source of data about technology professionals wanting to jump jobs: According to the latest Dice Sentiment Report, 52 percent of tech pros are likely to switch jobs in the next year, up from 44 percent last year. Meanwhile, more than half of HR professionals indicated that attrition rates for tech professionals in their organization are higher than in 2021.

For managers working with a tight budget, and who might not have the necessary funds for inflation-beating raises, creating a positive and helpful atmosphere can go a long way toward maintaining cohesive teams that want to stick around. The first step is listening to tech professionals’ concerns and needs, and crafting a plan to address them. Offering education, training, and certification opportunities is another massive plus.