Figuring Out How Satisfied Your Engineers Are (Without Asking Them)

Figuring Out How Satisfied Your Engineers Are (Without Asking Them)
Photo by Austin Distel / Unsplash

Tech companies are fighting over talent more than ever before. The amount of capital that is poured into them, combined with a severe shortage of employees, has created a desperate need to recruit and retain quality workers.

Because of the shortage of engineers, and due to the notion that employees leave managers and not employers, the responsibility for retaining developers is shifting towards VP R&Ds. In fact, more and more R&D leaders are being measured by their ability to retain their talent, and CEOs are viewing this as a KPI with strategic significance.

Why asking people how happy they are is not effective

Anyone who joins a company arrives with a set of expectations. Following the onboarding process, employees form an understanding of where the company is going and how they are going to fit in. Employees who understood these things differently from their managers, or even their CEOs, are entering a path of destruction.

Without actively correcting the misalignment, employees will become frustrated by not succeeding at their jobs or working on things that end up being tossed away.

Asking misaligned employees how satisfied they are is not effective, because even if at times they are very satisfied, it’s obvious they will become unhappy very soon. Since turning around an unhappy and frustrated employee is very difficult, prevention is the name of the game when talking about employee retention.

Ask yourself how many of your top performers are currently happy, but might be misaligned around the company’s execution. Without taking action, you’ve basically started the count-down until they move on.