Retaining Talent: Assessing Job Satisfaction Facets Most Related To Software Developer Turnover Intentions

Steven G. Westlund, Washington University, St. Louis
John C. Hannon, Capella University

Tech-savvy IT workers are a vital resource in our 21st century digital economy. Firms can better leverage their IT talent by developing cultures that foster creativity, empowerment, motivation, and organizational commitment.

Westlund [38] reported that IS project managers who exhibited both charismatic and contingent reward leadership styles had more satisfied subordinates with lower turnover intentions. Westlund also found that overall job satisfaction was more significantly related to software developer turnover intentions than satisfaction with supervision. The results of this study furthered that research by showing that satisfaction with the nature of work had the greatest influence on turnover intentions among these software developers.

It is important to recognize that turnover can have positive outcomes. Mobley [23] noted that it can displace poor performers, infuse new knowledge and technology through the replacements, and stimulate changes in policy and practice. Without turnover, organizations can become stagnate and lose their competitive advantage.

Jackofsky and Slocum [15] concluded that the worst and the best performers are the ones most likely to voluntarily leave the organization. Most IS project teams cannot afford to lose their top performers, especially during the development life cycle. We suggest that this attrition
can be reduced by designing jobs that software developers will find intrinsically rewarding and satisfying. This can be accomplished, in part, through progressively challenging assignments, opportunities to learn new technologies,and the recognition of achievement from management
and peers.

To read the full article, go to:

Journal of Information Technology Management Volume XIX, Number 4, 2008

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for reading this post. I look forward to discussing our article with you and answering any questions that you may have about our research. In this weak economy, the war for talent may be the last issue on your mind. Managers need to be aware that salary freezes and employee layoffs often lead to reductions in morale and increases in burnout. This makes it easier for the competition to lure your top talent away. When this happens, your organization may be left with the bottom performers and experience a drop in productivity. It will be more costly in the long run to recruit, hire, and train new superstars than to keep the ones you are fortunate to have. What do you think?

    Steve Westlund