Council Post: 16 Reasons Talented Tech Pros Leave Companies (And How To Address Them)


With the combination of today’s tech-dominated workplace and a tight workers’ market, qualified tech talent is extraordinarily valuable, so businesses need to create a culture that encourages them to stay. While a certain amount of turnover is to be expected within any company, if leaders don’t take steps to ensure that culture, compensation and opportunities reflect the current generation’s expectations, it’s likely they’ll regularly see talented tech professionals moving on to greener pastures.

From a lack of training opportunities to feeling unseen and unheard, there are many reasons why tech talent chooses to move on from a company. Below, 16 members of Forbes Technology Council share some of these reasons and explain how they can be addressed.

1. They’re Not Invested In The Company’s Mission

Talented employees join and commit to companies with a compelling mission and a far-reaching vision with a tangible impact. Show, instead of simply telling, your team the significant change their work can have on those around them and on society as a whole. Fostering a unified identity across teams can create one collective that will remain devoted to the company’s mission, growth and future impact. – Joseph Nathan, ForSight Robotics

2. They Don’t Feel Engaged

Key aspects of a good work environment include respect, a sense of purpose and feelings of belonging. These are a must if you’re going to sustain employee engagement. Creating a “speak up” culture, where leaders act as facilitators who enable the team, promotes productivity. With the right vision and a bigger picture provided by leaders, the employee experience can be enhanced. – Hassan Abbas, Ericsson


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3. They Get Burned Out

Employees leave (officially or silently) when they are burned out—burned out from overcommitting to work, handling unnecessary fire drills or wasting precious time working on outdated infrastructure. The increasing focus lately on developer experience and platform teams, while meant to improve efficiency and velocity, also encourages engineering excellence and improves employee satisfaction. – Maya Mandel, Helios

4. They Don’t Have The Resources They Need To Succeed

The most basic step organizations can take to retain tech talent is to give workers the tools they need to succeed. When people have the resources to be productive and complete projects successfully, opportunities for growth flourish. Between a talent pool shortage and already strapped teams, providing employees with processes, systems and tech to support their daily work is vital. – John Milburn, Clear Skye

5. There’s No Investment In Their Growth

Investing in employees retains employees. If tech talent doesn’t believe that their company wants to help them develop, they will leave. Professional development opportunities are key. This can be accomplished via coaching, training stipends, week-long retreats or speaker series. Providing reassurance that they are worth an investment of time and money can inspire them and make them excited to stay. – Matthew Polega, Mark43

6. They’re Stuck Using Outdated Platforms

Tech talent wants technical growth. If your organization is using legacy platforms and frameworks, employees will feel that they are not learning the skills that will keep them marketable. So, try to stay on the cutting edge. This will help your organization and your employees, too. Vertical growth is also important. Share vertical growth opportunities with employees, and keep them engaged with activities to train them for advancement. – Adeel Sarwar, CareCloud

7. Their Interest Hasn’t Been Captured

Do you recall the last time you were binge-watching a TV series, and even though it was late, you kept on going on to the next episode? Organizations need to create an environment that captures the interest and imagination of the technical staff while getting business done. A technical staff member engaged in work within a knowledge culture—one that creates interest in the “story”—is not leaving. – Emmanuel Ramos, OZ Digital Consulting

8. There Are No Opportunities For Skill Development

I think one reason good tech talent may leave a company is a lack of growth opportunities. As technology rapidly advances, tech professionals must continue learning and developing their skills to stay marketable and successful. If a company fails to provide opportunities for skill development and advancement, tech talent may feel the need to seek these opportunities elsewhere. – Sandro Shubladze, Datamam

9. Leaders Haven’t Created The Right Culture

People do not quit their jobs; they quit their leadership. High-performing leaders create the right culture, opportunities and incentives to retain talent. I also believe a clear career path for talent is essential if you’re to create long-term incentives that retain them. – Mike Maresca, Walgreens Boots Alliance

10. They Feel Trapped In The Status Quo

The strongest talent will never settle for the status quo. Leadership must offer these individuals creative pathways to elevation, whether that’s through a budget for professional development or larger-scale reskilling programs. Investing in your best talent will pay off in the long run. Find a partner who can support a reskilling program and do the heavy lifting for you; the ROI is exponential. – Anthony Hughes, Tech Elevator

11. There Are Limited (Or No) Rewards And Recognition For Their Work

Tech talent values rewards and recognition, and it’s not about money. Those who make it about money are early-career newcomers with limited experience. Recognize your tech team members’ contributions, and reward them with flexibility. Options could include additional time off, cash rewards in the form of “take your family out for dinner” funds or having the leadership team meet and thank high performers. A one-off bonus is appreciated, but it ranks below recognition! – Bhushan Parikh, Get Digital Velocity, LLC

12. They’re Not Able To Shift Focus Or Access New Experiences

One reason good talent leaves is they’re frustrated by the company not providing a culture that lets them grow. To prevent this, companies should have a more flexible structure of operations, allowing workers to shift focus and cross-pollinate across departments to foster their skills. This prevents them from being pigeonholed and burning out. – Danny Allan, Veeam Software

13. Their Roles And Opportunities Don’t Meet Their Expectations

Talent retention used to be more about pay and benefits; nowadays, those things are table stakes. To ensure that your company can retain talent, it’s important for your employees to have well-defined roles that meet their expectations, a clear path for growth and professional development, work flexibility, and assurance that their input is heard and valued. – Edan Evantal, Quali

14. They’re Not Receiving Regular Check-Ins And Reviews

People leave for various reasons, no matter the perks your company offers. It is human nature to evolve and try out new things. While I’ve learned to let people go and believe it actually helps keep the team healthy, I do find mood checks and timely performance reviews helpful in preventing burnout or “quiet quitting.” This way, you’ll see the smoke before the volcano erupts. – Konstantin Klyagin, Redwerk

15. Their Leaders Don’t Get To Know Them Personally

High performers aren’t all wired the same. Some are motivated by the work. Some are motivated by the culture. Some are motivated by growth or compensation. They won’t have a shortage of other opportunities, and you need to respect that fact. Make sure you know them (and all your team members) well. Have career conversations with them frequently, and ensure it’s about their careers, not about the company. – Matt McLarty, MuleSoft

16. Their Personal Mission Doesn’t Align With That Of The Business

Values alignment plays a critical role in encouraging team members to stay with their company. A person will often leave because their personal mission and that of the business are misaligned. Leaders can boost retention by checking in with team members on what they want from the organization and making efforts to promote social responsibility and meet the expectations of their talent. – Nacho De Marco, BairesDev



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