If your technology company is hiring, you don't need me to tell you that, compared with other industries, high technology has one of the most competitive talent deficits. You are already aware of the struggles tech firms face in both recruiting and retaining top talent.
High-tech employees know they are a hot commodity, too. According to research from Kelly Services, 62% of high-tech employees feel their skills are in high demand, which is 10% higher than employees in other sectors. To help you ensure this in-demand workforce finds your workplace desirable, here are five workplace practices you are better off avoiding.
Practice #1: Insisting communication is in-person or over the phone
The median age of employees at most high-tech companies is less than 35, according to PayScale. These employees grew up in the digital age, meaning many of them prefer to communicate via email or other channels that allow for digital collaboration. You may prefer the personal touch of a phone conversation or in-person meeting, but if you are unresponsive to digital communication because you’d rather talk in-person, the majority of your staff probably views your communication preferences as cumbersome and inefficient.
Image credit: New Yorker
Practice #2: Using antiquated technology when better solutions exist
High-tech employees are in the high-tech sector for a reason: they love technology. Asking high-tech employees to deal with stand-alone spreadsheets, paper and printouts is like asking them to go against everything they know. And speaking of knowing, high-tech employees are well-aware of the better solutions that exist.
Practice #3: Not allowing for workflow mobility
High-tech employees live in the cloud. They demand access to all personal and professional data in real time, whether they’re at work, at home, or are out on the town. Solutions that require employees to manage workflow or access insights via a single device or location are sure to frustrate.
Conversely, a solution like mobile expense reporting allows employees to better manage workflow because they gain the ability to submit, approve, track and view expense reports and spend-related insights from anywhere, at any time. The policy is also mobile. Using a single app, employees can book travel and schedule orders with confidence, knowing pre-approved vendors and other T&E policy rules are “built-in.”
Practice #4: Interrupting the work employees want to do
As a manager, it’s important to remember that employees generally won’t feel comfortable telling you they don’t have time to chat. They’ll “gladly” attend your last-minute meeting, although they may be steaming on the inside. Compared to other industries, workers in the high-tech sector are more likely to say their manager has a significant impact on job satisfaction, so it’s important that managers are tuned into employees’ workflow management preferences.
Sometimes it’s technology (or lack thereof) that does the interrupting. According to Aberdeen Group, companies that embrace automation reclaim about two full days in lost productivity.
5. Judging on face value rather than results
It’s easier to evaluate employees on face value, which is why some companies still do it. But in the high-tech sector especially, significantly more employees (35% more) would prefer a pay-for-productivity system over an hours-based system that includes overtime. Those who arrive early and stay late are not necessarily the most productive.
Many high-tech employees take pride in finding new ways to produce more using less time, and evaluation systems that overlook performance metrics can be frustrating for the top producers. A productivity-based system can also be a great way to align the motivations of employees and the company.
Recruiting and retaining top talent is just one of the unique expense-related challenges high-tech companies face. Check out Why High-Tech Companies Need High-Tech Expense Management and discover how your company can save money, improve productivity, grow faster and make smarter decisions.