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Submitted by stenya on


BLUF: How have you handled staff departures on demanding, high-profile projects in your organization? We're having a tough time recruiting and retaining staff for the largest IT program our company has ever invested in, and I'd appreciate some words of wisdom.

For a bit of background: I was one of five managers who was brought into this program at the end of last year, when the previous leadership team was let go. It's been a challenged project from the start, with three vendor partners and a (very) wary group of business leads. We inherited the existing staff, who had either been recruited by the outgoing managers, or "donated" from other departments... and since that time, 4 of 5 project managers, 4 analysts, 3 developers, and one manager have quit or transferred out to other departments. 

Work is ongoing while we continue to adjust course, and we're trying to rebuild the team and retain our remaining top tier folks. I'm not sure how to explain the high turnover to the new recruits - I'd rather be up-front than have them find out from the company rumor mill after they start... but it's tough to figure out the right balance. 

As always, thanks for your comments and suggestions. 

SamBeroz's picture

I'm in a somewhat similar situation. I've been the manager of my new group for the past six months. Over the past 3 years the area has had almost 90% of the staff turnover.

I've had some success keeping my best people by building relationships using one on ones. I make sure to spend the most time with the people who are carrying the majority of the load. My peers and I work to celebrate small wins and recognize the progress our teams make. We are also working to more effectively communicate our successes within the company.

As for internal hires, we are very open that there were problems in this area in the past. However, there is value in what we do and that I and my peers are personally committed to making the changes necessary to fully realize that value.

I'd be interested to hear what other people have had success with. - Sam