Service & Delivery Leaders: What are your creative strategies to keep your valued employees?

Edly Villanueva
Edly Villanueva Member | Enthusiast ✭

With inflation pressure high and the difficulty in providing salary increases to keep up, it’s likely companies will continue to experience a continuation of the Great Resignation that we saw in 2021. Especially in Services and Delivery Organization.

Are member companies doing anything creative to retain employees, such as relaxing the “return to the office” policies or anything else of note?

To jump start the discussion calling on the support leaders - @Neal Hatton @SorenMarklund @Alexander Mundorff @Sal Conti @Giuseppe Cirigioni @JosephReifel - what are you and your organization doing creatively to retain your valued employees?


  • Neal Hatton
    Neal Hatton Member | Enthusiast ✭


    We chose to go with a return to office policy that maximized flexibility. In the news over the last several months we watched several companies try to take a heavy-handed approach. This didn't seem logical in what remains an employees' job market in the first couple of quarters of 2022. Instead, we encouraged some utilization of the office where workers were in close proximity to it, or for company events such as all-hands meetings or celebrations. With the high gas prices, the world's focus on sustainability and sensible usage of resources, and remote working pleasing the workforce it seems sensible to allow a significant amount of remote working to continue. Quarterly we are creating some events or workshops or celebrations or conferences to generate some meaningful reasons for folks to come in to the office an benefit from it.

    Second, we've proactively made out-of-cycle market adjustments in the base pay of workers. We've been doing it in waves rather than all at once to spread the cost. We used different criteria to help prioritize the waves. Some ideas for the prioritization are things like flight risk, scarcity of the skills possessed by the worker, last performance review rating level, or inclusiveness, etc.

    These are two of the things we're doing and I'm sure others have some great ideas to share.

  • Joseph Reifel
    Joseph Reifel Founding Member | Scholar ✭✭

    I'm proud to say that one of the highlights of our TSIA benchmark from 2021 was "F5 takes excellent care of its employees and is rewarded with Pacesetter attrition levels and high employee satisfaction."

    Like @Neal Hatton, our company started polling its workers long before returning to the office to gather their preference. They were broken into three categories. A certain percent preferred to work part time in the office, some full time in the office, and some wanted to work full time from home. Months later, with the office still closed but with a deeper understanding of how to implement such a program, the employees that wanted to split their work-from-home and work-at-office time were polled to confirm their part-time status because a consequence of working in the office part time was that they would not have a dedicated desk at the office.

    For me, the important part of this is that the employees were asked. Asking an employee what they prefer creates good will that can be redeemed during challenging times (and my company was not immune to that).

    I'm a long time (22 years) employee at my company and it's difficult to summarize all of the reasons that I stay - compensation, benefits, time off, challenging but attainable work, pressure to deliver good-things-to-the-world, working with smart people, management that shows that they care, and the ability to self-actualize - on a couple occasions I've challenged my leadership to step up for me and they've risen to the occasion. I would never have expressed my wants and needs had there not been a standing open door policy all the way up to the CEO (which I utilized once, it was a skip-skip-skip-skip level meeting at the time).

    I went down a tangent. You asked what our company is doing creatively to aid retention. I don't know if I could summarize properly but off the top of my head:

    • Introduction of a "zoom out" day once per quarter to start or develop an out-of-the-box initiative that would help and support the company strategy. This has evolved into a significant event to support innovation
    • Introduction of wellness days for mental health purposes
    • Introduction of allyship discussions to help us understand and support one another
    • Visible tolerance to life-related issues that occur while working at home (the hours became super flexible)
    • Increased investment in L&D and mental wellness software and services
    • Zoom events where we can gather and socialize from home
    • Zoom tolerance where you're allowed to turn your camera off without judgment
    • Zoom tolerance where you don't need to attend at all if you're non-essential, and you can watch the recorded meeting later as FYI
    • Increased investment in online collaboration tools that support remote work
    • Increased investment in remote software development capability
    • Increased focus on knowledge sharing (this had been going on a long time but the point was nailed home when we all had to work from home)
    • Improved PLM process that is digital consumption friendly
    • Support for employee mobility within the company
    • Being clear about the executive investment decisions that are being made (or not made)

    I don't know if any or all of these is permanent but to me it seems like every month our executives wake up on the first of the month and ask what more they could be doing to support their employees.