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Retaining Your IBM Z Mainframe Workforce in the Great Resignation!

IBM Z Mainframe Workforce

IBM Z mainframes are the core computing platforms of 92 of the world’s top 100 banks, 10 of the top 10 insurers, 18 of the top 25 retailers, 70% of the Fortune 500 and much of the world’s healthcare, finance, utilities, and governments. These ultimate data servers that process 90% of all credit card transactions and hold over 80% of the world’s business data require a highly skilled global workforce to run them.

For the world’s premier organizations, hiring and training an optimally performing, specialist mainframe skilled workforce has always been a critical task. Now, these organizations must add retaining these skilled personnel to that task!

In what is now dubbed “the great resignation”, Prudential Financial’s Pulse of the American Worker survey shows 1 in 4 workers is preparing to look for opportunities with a new employer now that the pandemic threat has subsided. Of the 26% of workers planning to switch jobs post-COVID, 80% are doing so because they’re concerned about career advancement. 59% of that group said they have looked for new skills training themselves since the pandemic started.

Fortunately, there are proven effective methods to help your organization combat the great resignation!

The LinkedIn Global Talent Trends Report shows that companies rated highly on employee training saw 53% lower attrition! Additionally, a recent survey from showed 63% of employees who said they are regularly recognized (think digital credentials) also said they are very unlikely to look for a new job.

Closer to home, an IBM study showed that teaming IBM Digital Credentials with copious, readily available mainframe training delivered a 226% increase in course completion rates and a staggering 694% increase in course exam pass rates! Importantly, the IBM study also showed that personnel were 3 times more engaged at work and only half as likely to leave their current employer!

So here is a check list to combat mainframe workforce attrition in the great resignation:
  • Create a Culture of Learning that drives an appetite for training, and rewards training and career achievements!
  • Provide an extensive, year-round, on-demand resource of quality mainframe skills training and professional development training to fuel that culture of learning.
  • Give recognition by ensuring your offered training earns IBM digital credentials, certifications, and other awards/visibility!
  • Proudly show that your organization provides the L&D tools your mainframers need for career empowerment and a bright future with you!
  • Hire internally, showing skilled internal mainframers they will be rewarded for their commitment to learning and underlining your commitment to their careers!

Note that another factor in the great resignation is lifestyle! The Prudential survey showed that 87% of American workers who worked remotely during the pandemic want to continue working from home at least one day a week, post-COVID. 42% of current remote workers say that if their company doesn’t continue remote work options long term, they’ll look for a new job at an organization that does.

IBM has long been a global leader in hybrid work! At the recent Aspen Ideas Festival, IBM CEO Arvind Krishna said that only 20 percent of the company’s employees were going into the office at least three times a week, and that only about half will ever return to their desks more often than not. “I think we’ve learned a new normal,” Mr. Krishna said. Just like IBM, organizations should consider the benefits of implementing increased work flexibility to boost workforce retention.

Please also consider that the great resignation does not have to be a negative for your organization! Consider the massive hiring opportunity for mainframe organizations that offer the ideal environment of career opportunity, training/recognition, and workplace flexibility that these motivated mainframe professionals are looking for! Your organization can attract the industry’s best mainframe talent at this pivotal time and turn everyone else’s loss into your gain!

For the ongoing success of your mainframe computing organization, hiring, training and retaining an optimally performing, specialist mainframe skilled workforce is critical! I wish you great success in this task!