The Indian economy is expanding rapidly on the back of the entrepreneurial growth in the country. With policy support and investor interest, start-ups have become the veritable cynosure of all eyes. But what’s behind the success of a great company or an app that changes people’s consumption patterns? Yes, brand building, marketing, communications and sales play a huge part in establishing a new concept as a game-changer but where does the intrinsic game-changing nature of a new business come from? The answer is simple, it's technology backbone.
Amongst the greatest revolutions that are subtly taking place across the consumer world, technology has had a huge part to play. Whether it is an app that makes it a cakewalk to send a beautiful gift to your valentine halfway across the world or a platform that leads you to the most competitively priced training shoes that you’ve been eyeing for a while, tech forms the crux of all these services and facilities making the architects behind the tech infrastructure indispensable to any organisation.
Tech professionals are truly the most pivotal assets many companies hold today. In fact, so many players in the worldwide unicorn club have no real physical assets in the domain that they operate in. Their biggest strengths are the techies they employ who are constantly innovating, brain-storming and executing those path-breaking ideas that make the business stand out from its contemporaries.
Retaining the tech talent, therefore, is an imperative for companies large and small who really wish to carve a niche for themselves in a highly competitive business landscape. Human resource is fast emerging as the most covetable tool and far-sighted organisations are leaving no stones unturned in attracting, hiring and retaining the crème de la crème of tech talent. So intense is the contention for tech personnel that if a company fails to offer their employees the right blend of job satisfaction, rewards and appreciation and opportunities for growth, before the employers can blink their most valued technology forces may have been appropriated by a competitor.
Now comes the question about how the rewards are different for these professionals compared with others? Here’s a look at some of the interesting and effective ways in which you can make your tech employees feel valued, appreciated and most importantly excited to work at their peak levels and produce stellar results.
Although all professionals are always excited about extrinsic rewards such as bonuses, salary raise, promotions, gifts and other tangible benefits, tech employees are more driven towards intrinsic rewards as they make them feel more cherished and motivated. Tech employees are so highly in demand today that they are bound to get good raises and monetary incentives wherever they go. However, intrinsic rewards which involve opportunities to innovate, experiment, improvise and solve high-level problems guarantee a greater sense of satisfaction for them. Their enthusiasm for the job and loyalty towards the product can be kept at their peak by offering them exposure to other verticals of the business.
For example, a person who has developed an app may be the best suited to pitch it to clients or other companies for alliances as nobody understands the product better than the one whose brainchild it is. Offering chances for business development and sales can further enhance the sense of ownership and commitment a techie feels for his/work and eventually the company at large.
Alignment With Company’s vision
Tech professionals need to often be guided and shown the long-term vision of the company in order to feel that they have a larger role to play in an organisation’s growth. Often aspects like long-term strategy, business roadmap etc. are widely known to sales and marketing employees but techies are left out of these discussions. By giving them a clear picture of where the company is headed, what the larger plans of the management are and by defining their role within the organisation clearly, tech professionals can get a greater sense of purpose. It helps them develop higher motivation for their work and a unidirectional ambition. They need to also be provided with a sense of entitlement and direction in the workspace. Letting them know their importance, defining the areas of work where only they can excel and making them feel entitled in their field of work is a great idea.
Flexibility & creative space
This is the most underrated point while addressing the issue of growing employee dissatisfaction, specifically in terms of tech professionals. A research by Griffith Insurance Education Foundation discovered that tech professionals are more willing to work on lesser pay if they’re provided enhanced flexibility such as the ability to work from home and increased vacation time.
Techies typically have a creative bent of mind and are more comfortable working with flexible timings. They may want to stay in office all night when working on the next big project but the idea of having to come in again the next day at sharp 9 am will discourage them to do so. They should be allowed to enjoy their full bursts of creativity and make the most out of them without weighing them down with traditional and often restrictive HR policies and dictums.
Enhanced learning opportunities
Tech professionals are an intellectually charged, ambitious lot who are rarely complacent or prone to stagnation. After all, that’s how they are always at the forefront of innovation and creativity. Techies can be engaged meaningfully and their propensity to stay committed to an organisation can be fuelled by giving them exciting new opportunities to learn and grow.
From innovative learning sessions on campus to the chance to interact with industry leaders at international workshops and conferences, there are plenty of ways in which technology enthusiasts can be made to feel pumped up about their work. In fact, many large tech companies also offer courses and internal training workshops that focus on skills that tech professionals may not naturally have. From inter-personal relationship building to public speaking, customer interactions etc., there is a vast host of classes that can be conducted to offer a sense of meaningful development to employees.
One can also help alleviate a feeling of stagnation that may creep up in tech professionals by allowing them chances for experimentation with their skills. They can be given more on-site opportunities and occasions to showcase their soft skills rather than giving them only water-tight roles to perform within.
The ever-interested tech savvy generation has always had a soft corner for games. From hand-held gaming consoles, to Xbox 360, this is the generation that takes a virtual wrestling match more seriously than their health. By inducing gamification into various training and employee engagement programmes, therefore, companies can elicit greater interest and enthusiasm from tech professionals.
Many companies have witnessed low interest and enrolment rates in their leadership training curriculum. However, in many cases a simple gamification of a training programme has had a drastic and far-reaching outcome as far as new-age tech enthusiasts go. Many companies have noted an increase of close to 50% in the number of returning users for training programmes by adopting a gamification approach.
Break the monotony
Although the above stated points are simple and effective, they will have no real impact on retention if the employees have a monotonous lifestyle. Help them tune them out of their robotic routines that can cause immense fatigue and boredom. Small activities like a day out with a potluck picnic, a party at a neighbourhood bar, an all-expense-paid office retreat can infuse that much-needed vigour and rejuvenation back in the lives of tech professionals and can help them perform better.
From the moment you start investing in this large variety of initiatives to reward and retain tech professionals; they start realizing their true worth and appreciate your efforts as well as your humanitarian approach. This creates an unbreakable bond connecting your organization with them, thereafter, making them contribute as an asset without the impression of ‘being a corporate slave’. It also simultaneously makes you have an edge over other companies, which also significantly affects retention. Techies are the cornerstone on which your business is belt so go the extra mile to keep them happy. It will be worth it!