The past two years have drastically impacted both businesses and employees alike. Although the mass resignation has slowed, people are still picky about where they work and realize they have more options for employment now than they ever have. People looking for jobs expect more flexibility, and they are looking for companies that value diversity and are actively implementing policies that accept and include people from all backgrounds.
So, what does support for current and future employees look like in light of changing workplace expectations? How can your business be attractive to job-seekers who have unlimited options? To answer those questions, I tapped into the proven expertise of three successful leaders in the tech industry who have managed to create a thriving work culture despite changing consumer attitudes. Their responses were both compelling and insightful.
Here are three things you can do to elevate your workplace culture, take care of your current staff, and avoid attrition:
1. “Rethink recruitment.” Crystal Crump, Managing Director of Company Relations at LaunchCode
When hiring for your company, pulling up the same job listing and posting to the same job boards year after year becomes a default setting. Although that method will get you qualified candidates, you may not be getting the best candidates.
Crystal Crump believes the way to solve this problem is for HR to rethink their job listings and diversify their talent streams. With the surge in career-changers brought on by the pandemic, your most talented hires may no longer be students fresh out of college with a degree in Computer Science. Your most-qualified candidate could be a stay-at-home mom who just completed a tech returnship.
According to Crump, job postings should be focused on skills. “Rethinking job qualifications and throwing outdated credentials out the door will mean opening your roles up to qualified, driven candidates with the aptitude to learn skills on the job and evolve along with your company,” she says.
Crump also suggests getting creative with where you look for talent and prioritizing diversity. By partnering with organizations such as various Chambers of Commerce (Asian, Hispanic, etc.), Black Data Processing Professionals, Urban Leagues, local LGBTQ tech groups, and women in tech groups, “you expand your talent pool and actively participate in inclusive recruitment,” she notes.
With candidates able to work for high-tier companies from anywhere in the world and companies competing to create an attractive workplace, finding and retaining quality tech employees is harder than ever. Getting creative with where and how you look for talent may just put you on top.
2. “Make tech work for tech.” Stacy Bliek, VP of Marketing at Integrity Staffing Solutions
Everyone might assume that tech companies embrace the latest tech for the benefit of their people. In Stacy Bliek’s experience, that doesn’t necessarily happen. Like other organizations, tech businesses can find themselves struggling with challenges that, ironically, could be solved with the right tech.
Take communication as an example. As Bliek points out, teams want to be able to connect more easily and on-demand, particularly hybrid or fully-remote teams. This doesn’t always happen without the right “Swiss Army tool platform of choice” in place.
“More than ever, employees are looking for options… greater variety in the ways they can connect, align, collaborate, and celebrate,” notes Bliek. “The resounding theme is the desire to choose based on their preference, the nature of the task, or topic to discuss.”
The workaround to solve this issue is clear: Upgrade tech to serve employees. Tech workers are expected to raise the bar every day in the work they do for their company and, when applicable, the company’s clients or end users. For them to achieve their highest potential, they deserve software and systems that check all the boxes. They shouldn’t have to be hobbled by ineffective legacy systems or stilted workflows.
Where can tech companies start their internal tech facelifts? Bliek recommends looking for tech solutions that promote connectivity and integration. “Everything working in lockstep” reduces time spent on administrative tasks, “thereby increasing the time available to do good work and discuss big ideas,” claims Bliek.
The better the tech experience for the employee, the more enabled—and not trapped—workers will feel.
3. “Focus more on diversity and inclusion.” Nyasha Gutsa, Founder and CEO at Billy
Company diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) plans are getting a lot of press. Nyasha Gutsa explains that DEI initiatives are on many executive agendas and talked about at conferences, too. Despite this, early- and later-stage tech companies aren’t embracing diversity across all departments. That’s concerning because many employees value diverse voices, experiences, and skill sets in the workplace.
Gutsa’s seen the interest in diversity firsthand. “At Billy, we have noticed that our employees value a culture that supports every employee from any background, race, gender, religion, and political affiliation,” he says.
Gutsa adds that inclusion isn’t just about the makeup of a team but the access the team has to executives. “The worst thing you can do to an employee right now is make them feel they just work for your company and that their contributions don’t matter, which leads to quiet quitting,” he explains.
Encouraging a widespread, inclusive mindset can start by listening to employees and responding to their feedback. Tech workers who feel heard during one-on-one meetings and facilitated sessions feel more connected to what happens as a result of their input.
The tech industry is all about moving fast, testing everything, and innovating with the times. Now, tech companies just need to apply that same work ethic to boost their cultures and processes to retain and attract talent. The best investment you can make for your company is an investment in your team.