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Risk

10/8/2007
11:27 AM
Keith Ferrell
Keith Ferrell
Commentary
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Business Security Requires Network Security Requires Employee Security Requires Job Security

The employee security I'm talking about here is your technical team's -- and your ability to hold onto them.

The employee security I'm talking about here is your technical team's -- and your ability to hold onto them.Small and midsize businesses face both large opportunities and large challenges when it comes to attracting and retaining top-line IT and technical staff. Doing so is getting particularly harder in the face of an IT talent shortage affecting everyone from the biggest bigbiz to the newest one-person startup.

What does this mean for you? A few things.

First, it's a good time to review both current and future security programs and plans with your tech staff -- and use that review to get a sense of their job satisfaction and job concerns. Do they have all the resources they need? Are there areas whey they feel frustrated because the nature of business or business conditions limits the resources available.

What about their own career paths? Do your best IT and technical people feel confident of their ability to grow with your company? Do they feel like -- and are they treated as -- full members of your business team, or as subordinate support-players who "keep the network up and running?"

Take a look at, and take the time to discuss, growth and educational opportunities that would make them better able to do their jobs, and increase their personal satisfaction with their jobs.

Good time, too, to review their stakeholder status in the company -- does IT staff have the same access to profit participation, ownership, bonuses and so on that sales and other management staff have? If not -- why not?

As the IT talent shortage grows worse, your IT staff is going to face larger and larger temptations to move to greener (or at least larger) pastures.

By taking some preliminary steps now -- ones you've undoubtedly already put in place -- you can help head off staff-raid crises and at the same time remind your employees of why they chose to work for your business in the first place -- i.e., because your company operates on a human level, with minimal bureaucracy and maximum employee support, recognition and development.

That's the great opportunity you offer -- and one you should make clear to your technical staff.

While you still have them

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