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Employee Retention: The challenges of recruiting and retaining Gen Y.

21. October 2008 14:10 by Scott in   //  Tags:   //   Comments (1)

The grass is always greener on the other side, but the water bills are more expensive. For the passed few weeks I have noticed problems with companies.  The problems are large and small.  Things need to be upgraded, changed and reconfigured for Gen Y. Companies that are large are very broad and ideas come slow in a company of size. Companies have some major changes that it needs to change if they are to compete in the next 20 years. Most of the workers here today are baby boomers and after viewing a charts of the attrition, companies need to work hard in the next couple of years.

The problems with companies include, but are not limited to:

  1. Career advancement - Publicize requirements for advancement. What is needed to move from Engineer I to II or II to III should not be a secret. What are salary bands for each job title?
  2. Continuing Education - Reimbursement at the IRS cap of $5250 a year does not permit employees to complete the master’s degree program within a reasonable time limit forcing employees to assume additional debt.
    • To safeguard the investment, possibly require a year for year payback. I.E. for every year the company pays tuition, employee guarantees they will remain with the company for the same amount of time after the degree is awarded.
    • Instead of reimbursing employee, pay tuition directly to the school preserving the companies tax write off while protecting the employee from taxes over the $5250 cutoff.
  3. Exposure to Career Path Opportunities - Create a formal new hires program including:
    • Job rotation - In a large company, a formal plan is needed to allow for greater visibility across the range of possible career paths. Give new hires the ability to explore the many different practice areas within the company. One possibility: four to six, three month assignments in different areas of the company.
    • Assign a mentor to assist in career development. The existing mentoring program is one of the best kept secrets at NG and it shouldn’t be. Lack of exposure is keeping the mentoring program from reaching the people it is meant to help.
    • Cross discipline information sharing. Something that combines aspects of Facebook and a blog would allow employees to share knowledge with each other.
  4. Encourage innovation and creativity - Allow the employees to develop new and innovative technologies which would speed up or eliminate repetitive, costly tasks.
    • Create a review board to examine requests for funding to develop tools.
    • Have proposers create a BCA identifying risk / benefit / cost.
    • Create “sandboxes” to allow developers to explore emerging technologies without jeopardizing corporate computing infrastructure.
    • People searching for jobs at the company see the cutting edge technologies that we create, but walk in the door and see the antiquated machines that we build them on and then leave. There must be a way to allow us to use more cutting edge software platforms without adversely affecting the network.
    • Virtualization or private networks within the company would allow software engineers to work with newer tools and provide better solutions to the customer.

Companies often struggle with retaining Gen-Y. The above was a short summary of what should be done to help keep Gen Y at the company in which it invests so much time and money in.  The grass is always greener on the other side, but is it really?  Do other companies all have the same problems?

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Comments (1) -

12/18/2008 8:16:55 PM #

Great article. It's nice to see some very specific examples of things employers can do to appeal more to Gen-Y.