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Globally, only 29.1% of IT workers have high intent to stay with their current employer, according to a survey by Gartner, Inc.

In fact, IT workers are more inclined to quit their jobs than employees in other functions, with a 10.2% lower intent to stay than non-IT employees — the lowest out of all corporate functions.

This puts CIOs at the epicenter of the challenges around talent recruiting and retention. 

CIOs may need to advocate for more flexibility in work design than the rest of the enterprise, as IT employees are more likely to leave, in greater demand and more adept at remote working than most other employees. After all, data shows that more flexible and human-centric work policies can reduce attrition and increase performance. In a separate 2021 Gartner survey of 3,000 employees across a wide range of industries, functions and geographies, 65% of IT employees said that whether they can work flexibly will impact their decision to stay at the organization.

Work flexibility options affect intent to stay for IT employees. 65% agree, 14% disagree, and 21% neither agree or disagree.

Gartner recommends a human-centric work model can drive talent and business outcomes if it is well-designed and well-implemented. To achieve it, CIOs must rethink outdated assumptions about work that are unnecessarily limiting in three key dimensions. 

First, reconsider assumptions around working hours. The Monday to Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. work schedule dates to the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, when factory workers needed daylight to see what they were doing. There’s no longer a need to be constrained by it.

Next, rethink office centricity.  Many managers believe employees will get real work done only if they come into the office where managers can see them. But the pandemic shattered that myth.

Finally, take another look at the role of meetings. The culture of meetings started in the 1950s, when people had to come together physically to make decisions. Now, synchronous and asynchronous collaboration tools give us many ways of connecting with others.

CIOs who shed these assumptions can unlock the organization’s ability to hire anywhere and work everywhere and in the process out-hire, out-retain and out-perform those that revert to industrial era work paradigms. 

Gartner surveyed 18,000 employees globally in Q4 2021, including 1,755 employees in the IT function. Responses were collected monthly across 40 different countries in 15 languages.

Read the full report by Gartner.

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