They say "you'll never know until you ask" so that's exactly what I did!
I surveyed over 50 IT professionals of different technical flavours to find out once and for all what actually makes them tick - what are the key factors that contribute to their work satisfaction (better still: loyalty!). What do they REALLY want from their managers and colleagues? No speculation, no second hand information!
IT professionals were asked to grade (from 1-5, 5 being very important) a number of different parameters and of course add any that I may have overlooked. As it turned out the most important ones were: Location, Management Style, Remuneration, Training, Career Progression, Work/Life Balance, Team Fit, Sense of Accomplishment, Acknowledgment from Managers/Colleagues and Other Benefits (eg. smart phones, laptops, air conditioning, ocean views, cafe' in the building, gym membership, access to corporate loans and financial planning advice).
Pretty extensive list - wouldn't you agree?
Well as one could imagine there was some degree of variation (after all we are dealing with human beings who are also IT people) however there were a select few factors most important to our technical knights in shining armor that came through LOUD and CLEAR!
Remuneration, Management Style, Acknowledgment and Career Progression all rated 4-5 by every individual surveyed. Funny enough and contradictory to what I had always believed, Training averaged 2-3!
There you have it! If you want to keep your most valuable assets happy make sure that they are being remunerated at least according to market rates, make sure that you develop the best way to manage and engage each individual daily (and they will be different), acknowledge their strengths, value and accomplishments, and wherever possible co-develop a defined career progression path for them.
The one very INTERESTING thing that came out of this exercise is that not one of the IT Professionals sounded even the slightest murmur about the need to work with up to date/latest and greatest technology!
I'll leave that one to you...