The past two years have had a significant impact on both the business and the workforce. Even though the mass layoffs have slowed, people will still find that there are more options where to work and more than they have now. Job seekers expect more flexibility, and are looking for companies that value diversity and actively implement policies that welcome and include people from all backgrounds.
So, what does support look like for current and future employees in light of the expected changes in the workplace? How can your business be attractive to job seekers with unlimited options? To answer these questions, I examined the proven wisdom of three successful leaders in the tech industry who were able to create thriving work cultures while changing consumer attitudes. Their responses were persuasive and insightful.
Here are three things you can do to elevate your workplace culture, nurture your current employees, and avoid burnout.
1. “Rethink hiring.” Crystal Crump, Senior Director of Corporate Communications at LaunchCode
When you’re hiring for your company, the default setting is to create the same job listings and post them on the same job boards year after year. Although this method will provide you with qualified candidates, you may not get the best candidates.
Crystal Crump believes the way to solve this problem is for HR to rethink their job descriptions and diversify their talent streams. With the number of job seekers the pandemic has brought, your most talented hires may no longer be college freshmen with degrees in computer science. Your most qualified candidate may be a stay-at-home mom who has completed a tech retreat.
According to Crump, job postings should focus on skills. “Rethinking job criteria and throwing out-dated credentials out the door means you can open up your career to qualified, preferred candidates who can learn on-the-job skills and grow with your company,” she says.
Crump suggests creating talent where you need it and prioritizing diversity. “Broaden your talent pool and actively engage in inclusive recruiting” by partnering with organizations such as diverse chambers of commerce (Asian, Hispanic, etc.), Black Data Processing Professionals, Urban League, local LGBTQ tech groups, and the Women in Tech group. ” she recalls.
Candidates can come from anywhere in the world to work for top-tier companies, and as companies compete to create attractive workplaces, it’s harder than ever to find and retain quality tech workers. Being creative about where and how you look for talent can put you over the top.
2. “Make technology work for tech.” Stacey Blick, VP of Marketing at Honest Staffing Solutions
Everyone might think that tech companies embrace the latest technology for the benefit of their people. In Stacy Blick’s experience, that doesn’t necessarily happen. Like any other organization, technology businesses can, ironically, find themselves struggling with challenges that can be solved with the right technology.
Let’s take a relationship for example. As Bliek points out, teams want to connect easily and on-demand, especially mixed or completely remote teams. This does not always happen without the proper “Swiss Arms Selection Forum”.
“More than ever, employees are looking for alternatives … they have a big difference in the way they connect, engage, collaborate and celebrate,” Blick said. “The interesting theme is the desire to choose based on their preferences, the nature of the task or the topic they are discussing.”
The solution to this problem is obvious: improve technology to serve employees. Technology employees are expected to step up every day in the work they do for their company and, when necessary, the company’s customers or end users. To achieve their maximum potential, they deserve software and systems that check all the boxes. They shouldn’t be bogged down by inefficient legacy systems or chaotic workflows.
Where can tech companies start with internal tech fronts? Bliek recommends looking for technology solutions that promote communication and integration. “Everything that works in the locker” reduces the time spent on administrative tasks, “which increases the time to do good work and discuss big ideas,” says Blick.
The better the technology experience for the employee, the more engaged – and uncluttered – employees feel.
3. “Focus more on diversity and inclusion.” Nyasha Gutsa, founder and CEO of Billy
The company’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) plans are getting a lot of press. Nyasha Gutsa explains that DEI initiatives are on many executive agendas and will be discussed at conferences. Despite this, early and late-stage tech companies are not embracing diversity in all segments. That matters because many employees value diverse voices, experiences, and skill sets in the workplace.
Gutsa saw the need for diversity firsthand. “At Billy’s, we’ve noticed that our employees provide a culture that supports all employees, regardless of background, race, gender, religion or political affiliation,” he said.
Gutsa adds that inclusiveness is not just about a team’s makeup, but the team’s access to executives. “The worst thing you can do to an employee these days is to make them feel like they only work for your company and that their contribution doesn’t matter, which leads to quiet resignation,” he explains.
Encouraging broad, inclusive thinking can start by listening to employees and responding to their input. Tech workers who feel heard in one-on-one meetings and facilitated sessions feel more connected to what’s happening because of their feedback.
The tech industry is all about moving fast, trying everything and inventing with the times. Now, tech companies must apply that same work ethic to enhance their cultures and processes to retain and attract talent. The best investment you can make for your organization is investing in your team.