After all the madness of the lockdowns and being stuck, unable to travel back home to Maldives for almost two years, I was finally able to make it back home a couple of months back.
As luck would have it, lottiefiles.com was hiring, and we thought it would be an excellent opportunity to have some interviews / chats in person for a change, and we ended up talking to around 20+ people.
While I agree its not a representative sample, the commonalities of the reasons they are looking to switch jobs made for some interesting observations that might be worth sharing: loosely grouped these are the top 3.
Stagnation of career path / growth
There exists an artificial ceiling a person generally reaches and is forced to transition out of doing what they love (code/design/etc), into management or forfeit any real growth and be content with some bi-yearly increment.
Having different paths of growth might be helpful, but I can’t say I’ve seen this taken into account in a majority of the workplaces at home (unless it is classified as some consulting role, which the employee has to give up on permanent employment, benefits, and be tied to contracts)
Some people want to be in management; some people do not. Forcing this as the only choice for career growth will push them to look for opportunities elsewhere.
Opinions Disregarded , Visible lack of trust , Does not feel valued
Many people we talked to told us how their ideas were not valued or trusted by their companies and their managers. From being excluded from the planning process to all critical decisions being taken by the ‘top’ management without a way for feedback from the teams to be considered.
Good developers and creatives in my experience, want to build amazing things. They are there because they possess skills management does not. Why would management intentionally exclude them and treat them like code-monkeys? What a waste!
What ends up usually happening is, the implementors miss arbitrary deadlines set by management, and they get their performance reviewed as, missing deadlines, buggy code, and unmotivated.
The people on the team who are doing the work are the people who know most about the how, the challenges and the complexity of building and executing work, involve them early and often. A team manager’s primary role is not to look over their shoulder and see if they are doing work. A manager should be a coach first, someone who empowers the individuals to do their best work and help get the team what they need to get the job done.
Looking for Flexibile Work Conditions
The pandemic might have made this point abundantly clear, a lot of these people were able to successfully work remotely during the pandemic and now fail to see why they need to return to office full time. Just because “management said so” is no longer an acceptable answer.
They do not interact with customers daily , and there is no real need why they have to work from an office.
Personally, working at a full-time remote job, I agree with them. The concept that developers and certain creatives have to work full time in an office is no longer valid. There are times you want face to face meetings. but shouldn’t be a requirement.
I did not forget the salary. This is obvious. With global companies opening up remote jobs en masse, you need to pay talented people competitive salaries or lose them. It’s that simple. The competition is no longer local companies.
These issues are probably not unique to Maldives either. But it is happening in Maldives as well.
I also know this is one-sided, but it’s intentional. This is what I felt the gist of the narrative of the employee is. It’s on the management to try to change that or don’t. Either retain the skilled people you have or risk losing them.