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How to retain your IT talent

4. Right person for the wrong position: I often see network engineers, solutions architects and software developers that are clearly in the wrong position. Sometimes it is a serious lack of technical knowledge or experience, and other times it is a techie that does not interface well with customers. It is also often due to the person not gelling with his or her manager or team, or worse, for immature political reasons. Understand the strengths of each of your IT staff members. Whether individuals have great communications with customers, excellent technical abilities and so on, make sure each person is set up for success in the position they are in. You will not only do your employee a favor, but you will treat yourself and everyone else to one as well.

5. No recognition, no respect: Perhaps the biggest missing link required for retaining IT employees is the lack of appreciation of their accomplishments. Contrary to typical workplace practices, praise rewarding positive behavior is much more powerful and effective long-term than strong words condemning negative behavior. Show interest in the success of your employees and make your appreciation known and highly visible every chance you get. If you set a good example and expect them to succeed, they undoubtedly will.

If you incorporate these items into your management style for the long-term, I guarantee the difference in your IT employees’ attitudes and aptitudes will be crystal clear. A neat bonus is that these ideas will help stave off complacency and keep employees around — true benefits you cannot put a price tag on.

Kevin Beaver is an information security consultant, expert witness, author and professional speaker with Atlanta-based Principle Logic, LLC. With over 22 years of experience in the industry, Kevin specializes in performing independent security assessments revolving around minimizing information risks. He has authored/co-authored 10 books on information security including the best-selling Hacking For Dummies currently in its 3rd edition. Kevin is also the creator of the Security On Wheels information security audio books and blog providing security learning for IT professionals on the go. You can reach Kevin through his website and follow him on Twitter at @kevinbeaver.