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A staff reduction, if handled poorly, can be a turning point in the minds of employees, from trust in a company to a feeling of betrayal.

The tech industry has been facing new challenges: an economic downturn after a huge surge in hiring, inflation, and higher interest rates. This means that many tech companies are shifting their focus from growth to profitability. This talk focuses on how to retain your people by leading with empathy, building trust, and working with your people to understand their core motivators.

A study shows that 85% of people believe that a good manager is important for their workplace happiness, and 38% have stayed longer at a job than intended because of a good manager. When employees are seeing things in the industry destabilize, it is impactful how we, as leaders, react. First, it's important that we take care of ourselves, and are prepared to hear the reactions of our reports. In these conversations we must be genuinely supportive, and most importantly, listen.

Moving from growth to profitability means that we need to reprioritize our work. But in doing this, we need to make sure we are properly investing in our people. We need to be smart about how to achieve company goals, not by doing more with less, but by staffing correctly. Retention becomes a higher priority, meaning we need to put people on projects that are both important for the business, and motivating.

Retention in this industry post-boom means we may need to rethink how we motivate our people. We may need to move from focusing on typical motivators like succession planning and job security, to things like building community and a sense of purpose within the company. As managers, it's our job to dive into each employee's personal motivators and understand what will keep them excited to come to work everyday.