Happy employees are productive employees. This statement has been proven over and over again, by researchers, human resources analysts, and, more recently, tech companies. The latter have seen the evidence with their own eyes: an enjoyable workplace attracts and keeps top talent. Subsequently, the last few years have seen a huge uptick in employee-focused practices within the technology industry.
These leading tech company practices aren’t out of reach for the “average” business, though. This list covers 13 tech company trends that will increase employee happiness and productivity in any workplace.
13 Tech Company Practices That Will Transform Your Business
Make standards mean something.
To be effective, company values must be integrated into every business process, from hiring to daily workflows and marketing. SAS CEO Jim Goodnight considers a strong value system crucial to finding and retaining employees that care about the company’s larger vision.
Lead by example.
“Be the change you want to see in the world” isn’t some nice slogan to plaster on a bumper sticker; it’s a motto that works. Tech innovators realize that change in the workplace most often starts with the people in management. If they model better communication practices and obey security guidelines, employees will follow suit.
Be visible, transparent, and accountable.
A few businesses in the tech industry have recently put forth a larger effort to be transparent about traditionally obscured business practices. That’s because they realize that executive honesty pays off. It’s not always easy, but corporate accountability will keep employee morale up in the long run.
Despite the assertion that technology obscures personal connection, many tech businesses actually have great employee outreach. Companies like Google understand that good communication practices lead to better worker engagement and loyalty.
Flat structures improve an organization’s agility and ability to respond to changing market conditions. And they don’t just work for an exclusive few — flat structures have had great effects for nonprofits, software startups, and global manufacturing firms.
Intel recently released a staff diversity report, sending a message that the company will focus on branching out in terms of staff representation. To follow suit, human resources personnel shouldn’t be looking solely for people with the right skills — they should also be seeking people who will help diversify company culture and encourage progression.
Invest in talent.
Tech companies are setting the bar in terms of employee investment because they realize that a small initial investment will show high returns down the line. Any businesses that wants to retain employees should focus on mentorship programs, support personal and professional development, and offer opportunities to grow.
Give employees ownership and autonomy.
Some tech businesses, particularly startups, give employees equity. While that model may not work for every company, all organizations should strive to give employees a sense of ownership. Employees who are given goals and the means to achieve them will take initiative and feel a responsibility for the company’s success.
Offer flexible hours.
Employees with flexible work conditions tend to be more productive, and big tech companies like Cisco Systems have started tapping into that trend. There’s no mandatory formula, either — some companies offer remote work options, while others allow employees to set their own schedule and work at the times that are best for them. It all comes down to what makes the employees happiest.
Give employees the tools they need to do their jobs.
Employees are becoming increasingly mobile — especially in the tech industry — and they want mobile solutions for work. Obvious tools are email and productivity applications, but enterprises should consider social collaboration and industry-specific tools, too.
Implement security safeguards and best practices.
BYOD (bring your own device) culture has brought information security to the forefront of everybody’s minds. And the need for safeguards, including training, education, and regularly updated security practices, will only grow as employees bring more devices to work. Smart companies are taking great measures to keep intellectual property, financial information, employees’ identities, and other data safe.
Shift to ongoing performance reviews.
Annual performance reviews are becoming a thing of the past for a number of companies, with tech giant GE among them. Instead, ongoing reviews are proving much more effective, as they encourage frequent conversation about efforts and practices.
Be smart about “perks.”
Perks should always have a reason behind them. “Take Your Dog to Work Day” may be nice, but it’s not essential. Parking and transportation reimbursement, on the other hand, could make a huge difference in the life of an employee. The secret, as Google has discovered, is to find practical opportunities to improve the employee experience.
Creating a better place to work isn’t just fun. It provides a competitive advantage. Businesses that want to see top performance in the future should take note of how competitive tech companies are transforming workplace trends. Implementing these practices will result in employee engagement, which, in turn, will produce greater productivity, higher efficiency, and better bottom lines.
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