May 4, 2022

Last Updated on January 15, 2024

To compete in today’s tight cybersecurity talent market, companies and hiring managers need to think past table stakes like salary and benefits. If you’re going to invest in hiring someone, you need to retain them. Yet these days in our industry the job retention rate is abysmal.

Why? Often, it’s because people don’t feel safe, supported and happy in the workplace. So, they move on, hoping to get their psychological needs met somewhere else.

To share thought leadership on what it really takes to retain cybersecurity talent, a recent episode of The Virtual CISO Podcast features Deidre Diamond, Founder and CEO at CyberSN. Hosting the show is John Verry, Pivot Point Security CISO and Managing Partner.

Accentuate the positive

Deidre has developed an 8-point process to building an “inclusive” work environment, where managers care for their people and take concrete steps to help them succeed.

Step #2 on the path to an inclusive work environment is fostering a “positive attitude culture.” Everyone responds instinctively to positivity versus negativity. So much so that projecting a positive, can-do attitude is a core management skill that can lift the whole team.

Turning on the lights

Deidre relates a story from her first promotion to management: “I remember when I was at a dinner getting promoted to my first management seat. My mentor said, ‘Are you ready to turn on and off the lights?’ It took me a year to realize that what she meant was, that I now have the ability because I’m a manager to turn people on or turn them off. My attitude affects their daily performance. And that’s something that everybody has to take very seriously. The whole concept that ‘shit rolls downhill’—it’s true!”

If managers don’t have a positive, solution provider attitude as a starting point, then the company culture won’t support high EQ, high empathy, high engagement relationships. In other words, genuine care and concern for people will be lacking.

Positive performance

Deidre emphasizes that a positive, solutions-oriented attitude is a skill that managers must be evaluated on as part of their performance review.

“Part of what I’m paying you for is a positive attitude,” Deidre asserts. “We need to articulate that to the leadership team. You don’t just pay people for their technical skills or to drive sales, so put it in your job reviews.”

As managers, we can turn peoples’ energy on and off because we have the power to fire them, put them on a performance plan or give them a raise. In other words, the power to make them successful or not. Approaching interactions with positivity keeps the energy flowing.

Besides, life is short. Who wants to work for or with someone who’s habitually bringing negative conversations into the workplace?

What’s next?

Click here to listen to the full episode with cyber talent thought leader Deidre Diamond, Founder/CEO at CyberSN.

Looking for more insight into cybersecurity staffing success? You’ll enjoy Deidre’s first appearance on The Virtual CISO Podcast: EP#2 Deidre Diamond – How to Attract & Retain Cyber Talent

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