Team Management

EMHub Roundup: 5 resources on improving developer retention

Retention may be the key to thriving in the Great Resignation. Hear from industry leaders about why developers are leaving and what we can do to keep them.

As companies adapt to new ways of working in the Great Resignation, the demand for tech talent has never been higher. Most highly skilled tech workers aren’t leaving the industry. However, they are searching for roles with better compensation, opportunities for career growth, and work-life balance.

Between labor shortages and the high cost of employee turnover, retaining existing talent is a top priority for engineering leadership. We’ve reviewed 5 resources from industry leaders outlining the causes of attrition and data-driven strategies for improving retention. Let’s highlight the major points.

  1. What Is an Employee Value Proposition?
  2. How to Improve Employee Retention During the Great Resignation
  3. Engineer Retention Playbook
  4. The Great Resignation is Here. What Does That Mean for Developers?
  5. Hiring (and Retaining) a Diverse Engineering Team
  6. Final Thoughts


What Is an Employee Value Proposition? 

  • An employee value proposition (EVP) distills the selling points of an organization for prospective employees. A clear, strong EVP lets candidates know what your workplace has to offer and helps attract employees who will thrive long-term.

  • To create an EVP, survey your employees about why they choose to work at your organization. Your EVP may include information about the following:
    • Company mission
    • Career growth opportunities
    • Support for employee well-being
    • Company growth stage
    • Options for in-person, remote, or hybrid work

  • Managers can use EVPs to guide their internal leadership efforts. Commitment to shared goals across teams helps to create a more cohesive workplace culture.


How to Improve Employee Retention During the Great Resignation

Interview with Meetup CEO David Siegel, Level-Up Engineering Podcast

  • Now more than ever, employees want to find meaning in their work. Leverage mission-driven storytelling to attract and retain employees who believe in your product.

  • A hybrid environment can drive community. Remote work helps employees take care of themselves, get their independent work done, and avoid burnout. This ensures that employees have the bandwidth to prioritize collaboration in the office.

  • Community is key online and offline. Employee Resource Groups and Slack groups can help build relationships in a hybrid workplace. 

  • Develop a robust feedback culture to maintain team health. At Meetup, managers gather and share feedback regularly. This includes performance reviews twice a year, engagement surveys four times a year, manager workshops, and manager meetings.

  • Create psychological safety. Be transparent with employees and empower them to speak their minds to management.


Engineer Retention Playbook


  • Retention starts with onboarding: 20% of turnover happens in the employee’s first 90 days. Companies with a strong onboarding process increase retention by 82% and productivity by over 70%.

  • 58% of engineers say learning and development is one of their top criteria for a prospective role. To create impactful L&D experiences, integrate them into your overall strategy and culture and provide choices that accommodate employee learning styles.

  • Over 25% of employees are at high risk for turnover. To get ahead of employee attrition, gather qualitative and quantitative data on employee happiness and why they might consider leaving. 


The Great Resignation Is Here. What Does That Mean for Developers?

Stack Overflow

  • The resignation rate in tech rose by 4.5% in 2021. 83% of developers report suffering from burnout, and 81% say that burnout worsened during the pandemic. Developers say that an increased workload is the top contributor to pandemic-related burnout.

  • Psychologist Anthony Klotz, who coined the term “Great Resignation,” identified a number of “pandemic epiphanies” that lead employees to quit:
    • I could make more money somewhere else.
    • I deserve better working conditions and work-life balance.
    • I want to make a career shift.
    • I want to start my own business.

  • Companies can embrace employees’ shifting attitudes towards work by reevaluating compensation, workload, job flexibility, and employee growth and autonomy.


Hiring (and Retaining) a Diverse Engineering Team

Pragmatic Engineer Newsletter

  • Diverse teams are higher-performing and more innovative than homogenous ones. In addition, workplaces that retain employees from underrepresented backgrounds tend to have more inclusive cultures where all employees feel valued.

  • Retaining diverse teams requires a structured approach with measurable outcomes. For example, a team at Stripe met weekly to work on diversifying their pipeline for internal promotions. The team developed a series of structures, including a process for broadening the scope of who can apply for each role, that resulted in more underrepresented internal applicants.

  • Focus on building an inclusive culture that supports differences and helps employees work through conflict. When managers approach disagreement with curiosity and empathy, they will help to drive more creative collaboration.


Final Thoughts

  1. If you found this article helpful – or if you would like to share your thoughts around retention on EMHub – email us at

  2. Our goal is to connect readers with the most helpful and actionable leadership tips from Engineering Managers of all backgrounds. We look forward to continuing these conversations and growing our EM community.

  3. In our next roundup, we’ll cover Developer Growth Plans.

  4. "The best managers I know are invested in each one of their employee’s career growth and development. If you invest in the people on your team, it may lead to higher employee satisfaction…Finding the right work and opportunities for each of your team members is one of the best things you can do to help delivery.” – Alex Kavalsky, Software Engineering Manager at Amazon


Similar posts