The ‘Great Reshuffle’ has reached European shores, and the tech industry has not been left untouched. This has led employees, regardless of skill or seniority, to start questioning their roles in both the workplace and in society.
On top of this, as the slumping stock market threatens many tech firms, those that grew headcount rapidly during the pandemic may now have to cut back the size of their workforce as surging inflation and economic uncertainty threatens growth.
Today, a core task for all tech HR leaders is to truly understand what employees are looking for and deliver on those expectations without delay.
Offering employees a fulfilling experience
Finding and maintaining high levels of skilled employees to future-proof business innovation comes with many difficulties. If anything, the last couple of years has taught us that workplaces must be both comfortable and inspiring.
It’s essential that managers keep learning how to pursue proactive conversations with their teams, in order to implement the appropriate actions that help meet their expectations.
The importance of the employee experience, especially in fast-paced tech environments, is on the rise. Businesses should focus on developing world-class company cultures that employees are engaged with and proud to be part of, enabling them to thrive and be more creative.
These must form the core values of any company that is seeking to attract and retain its pool of talents, creating a culture that goes beyond lip service and actually gives life to strong values and standards.
Looking after individuals’ mental health is also of the utmost importance.
Companies should look to introduce rewarding and supporting initiatives, such as setting up wellbeing platforms for their employees, organizing local wellness events, raising awareness about key topics, or collecting funds for mental health organizations.
They should incorporate such actions to a larger purpose, fostering a culture where communities are encouraged to propose their own initiatives in order to ensure many voices are represented and employees have the opportunity to co-create these themes.
Acknowledging differences and being flexible
Although many tech companies are becoming more attuned to how they can create attractive work cultures to build a more solid workforce, the attraction and retention rates of different types of talent vary.
The tech industry specifically sees a few discrepancies, as some talent is harder to find and keep than others.
Indeed, one could look at the differences in attracting and retaining engineers and developers for tech companies, based on very specific requirements and expectations when it comes to their working environment and overall higher referral rates.
Companies need to quickly recognize every potential difference when it comes to employees’ expectations and endeavor to tailor their working environment to enable workers to thrive in their role.
Nevertheless, whilst retaining engineers and developers might be critical, no company can afford constant churn rates in any position. HR departments should therefore extend the same level of consideration to all talents throughout the organization.
Businesses must also be sympathetic to habits employees have gotten used to over lockdown, understanding that, for many, working solely from the office is now outdated.
Realizing the benefits of flexibility and trusting employees to work from home will not only give them a much-appreciated sense of control over their day-to-day, but also create a more productive workforce.
The people dimension of businesses continues to need proper ongoing investment and implementing flexible policies will help companies attract and retain vital talent.
Keeping values close, and integrity closer
Both diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I), as well as environmental, social and governance (ESG) initiatives are now no longer just a ‘nice thing to have’ – they are the bare minimum.
Those companies that are leaders in their respective industries understand the importance of their social status and follow through on all commitments.
This means effectively solidifying true business purpose by focusing on fostering a better social image to not only keep employees aligned with company values, but also hold each other accountable when tackling major issues, from the likes of gender and pay parity to hiring for diversity on all levels of seniority.
Many business pioneers also capitalize on their own assets to offer meaningful visibility to worthy causes and charities. Some tech companies have already taken action in this area, by donating pro bono ad space to charities for example.
Many others participate in important social awareness campaigns like International Women’s Day or Black History Month.
And while context is key, companies will need to find the right balance between trendy, meaningful campaigns versus what makes sense for their organization at a particular moment in time.
The current climate conversation has also put weight on industry players to work towards achieving key environmental goals.
Tech leaders can easily set a standard for others to follow, for example by signing the Climate Pledge – an action plan devised to offset carbon emissions, aiming for net carbon zero by 2040.
If those in charge make this a priority, employees in turn will also feel they are contributing to something bigger and be more inclined to stay with a company that has strong values.
Additionally, as younger and more sustainability-conscious employees enter the workforce, ESG commitments are becoming one of the most invaluable recruiting factors.
The future of work
Unquestionably, most workplaces are going through significant changes at high speeds, affecting how employees make decisions and what they see as fulfilling work.
It is now even more critical for HR departments to understand what makes the very best talent stay.
Employees are shifting their “why” and “what for” in life, and companies have to find ways to provide what they’re looking for.
This requires HR teams and business leaders to look at reconciling employee expectations with true business reality, encompassing everything from the multigenerational and multicultural aspects of the work environment, to flexible working, and staying committed to ESG policies.
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