Technology culture is changing as employee expectations evolve

The past two years have profoundly affected both businesses and employees. Even though the mass layoffs have slowed down, people are still picky about where they work and realize they now have more options for work than ever before. Job seekers expect more flexibility, and they look for companies that value diversity and actively implement 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 company appeal to job seekers with unlimited opportunities? To answer those questions, I drew on 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 convincing and enlightening.

Here are three things you can do to improve your workplace culture, take care of your current workforce, and prevent attrition:

1. “Rethink Recruitment.” Crystal Crump, Managing Director of Company Relations at LaunchCode

When you hire someone for your company, getting the same jobs year after year and posting to the same job boards becomes a default. While you will get qualified candidates with that method, you may not get the best candidates.

Crystal Crump believes that the way to solve this problem is for HR to rethink their vacancies and diversify their talent flows. With the wave of career changers brought on by the pandemic, your most talented employees may no longer be college graduates with a degree in computer science. Your most qualified candidate may be a stay-at-home mom who has just completed a tech return.

According to Crump, job openings should be skills-oriented. “Rethinking job qualifications and ditching outdated credentials means opening your positions to qualified, driven candidates with the ability to learn skills on the job and evolve with your business,” she says.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, Spanish, etc.), Black Data Processing Professionals, Urban Leagues, local LGBTQ tech groups, and women in tech groups, you “expand your talent pool and actively participate to inclusive recruiting,” she notes.

With candidates able to work for leading companies anywhere in the world and companies vying to create an attractive workplace, it’s harder than ever to find and retain high-quality technical employees. Getting creative with where and how you look for talent might just get you to the top.

2. “Let tech work for tech.” Stacy Bliek, VP Marketing at Integrity Staffing Solutions

Anyone could assume that technology companies are embracing the latest technology for the benefit of their people. In Stacy Bleak‘s experience, that doesn’t necessarily have to happen. Like other organizations, tech companies can struggle with challenges that ironically can be solved with the right technology.

Take communication as an example. As Bliek points out, teams want to connect more easily and on-demand, especially hybrid or fully remote teams. This doesn’t always happen without the proper “Swiss Army tool platform” in place.

“More than ever, employees are looking for options… more variety in the ways they can connect, align, collaborate and celebrate,” Bliek notes. “The resounding theme is the desire to choose based on their preference, the nature of the task or the topic to discuss.”

The solution to this problem is clear: upgrade technology to serve employees. Tech workers are expected to raise the bar every day in the work they do for their company and, if applicable, the company’s customers or end users. To reach their highest potential, they deserve software and systems that tick all the boxes. They shouldn’t be hampered by ineffective legacy systems or grandiloquent workflows.

Where can tech companies start their internal tech facelifts? Bliek recommends looking for technical solutions that promote connectivity and integration. “Everything works on the shovel” reduces the time spent on administrative tasks, “leaving more time to do good work and discuss big ideas,” Bliek claims.

The better the tech experience for the employee, the more engaged – and not trapped – employees will feel.

3. “Focus More on Diversity and Inclusion.” Nyasha Gutsa, Founder and CEO at Billy

Corporate Diversity, Equality and Inclusion (DEI) plans get a lot of press. Nyasha Gutsa explains that DEI initiatives are on many governance agendas and are also discussed at conferences. Despite this, early-stage and later-stage technology companies are not embracing diversity in all departments. This is worrying because many employees value different voices, experiences and skills in the workplace.

Gutsa has seen the interest in diversity firsthand. “At Billy, we’ve found that our employees value a culture that supports every employee, regardless of background, race, gender, religion and political affiliation,” he says.

Gutsa adds that inclusion isn’t just about team composition, it’s also about the team’s access to executives. “The worst thing you can do to an employee right now is make them feel like they’re just working for your company and that their contributions don’t matter, leading to silent termination,” 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 is happening through their input.

The tech industry is all about acting fast, testing everything and innovating with the times. Now tech companies just need to adopt the same work ethic to boost their cultures and processes to retain and attract talent. The best investment you can make for your business is an investment in your team.