Jul 14, 2022 by Matt Dixon
A reality of the technology industry is that it’s constantly changing. When in this industry you have to understand the nature of its work- Constant change and fast-paced work environments sum up what being a part of the industry is like. Tech is a growing industry, but that only makes it more competitive. We are seeing a surplus of industry candidates in the job pool- This includes tech industry newbies with no technical skills, new-age software developers, and engineers but also includes the new generation’s workplace expectations. Over time, the workplace changes, and the workforce introduces new job candidates.
Change has to take place to adapt to the times you are in. What was once appropriate for the workplace may now be something looked down upon- What team building looked like 10 years ago won’t correlate with what we need now. Why is that? Technology as a whole has transformed how the average person does something, what a person needs, consumes, and even thinks about. Every day, technology is advancing, so changes are bound to happen at an untimely rate. This is how you should think of the workplace. A place that should be focused on change to reach the wanted outcome. Implementing changes in your workplace can make any leader feel uneasy but without taking the risk, you potentially are causing your own workplace’s collapse. Being in the tech industry you are aware of the uncertainty of everything you do. You could perfect your code today and tomorrow but have to start from scratch. You could have a functioning website today that crashes tomorrow.- This is the ideology of the tech industry. This uncertain path creates societal transformation. To be in this industry one must be able to accept change, learn from it, and push for more changes.
Acknowledging new changes or ideals is how you progress in society. You gain your competitive edge by not staying stagnant. Defy the status quo to exceed your company goals and incorporate these current workplace trends into your business process.
This is an obvious change that many people and companies in every industry are introducing or have introduced to their teams since the COVID pandemic. Many companies have found that remote work has been a positive experience for their team and are keeping the remote/hybrid work experience recurring. With a surplus of the workforce looking specifically for remote/hybrid jobs, it’s safe to say this type of working environment will be sought after for a long time.
Upwork estimates that 22% of the workforce (36.2 Million Americans) will work remotely by 2025. An 87% increase from pre-pandemic levels.
Biteable reported that 62% of remote employees say they’d be happy to work from home forever. And 50% of employees said they’d like to spend 2 or 3 days in the office per week.
The benefits of remote work are astronomical- there is better work-life balance, company cost savings, no work commute, you sustain independent employees and you have a lack of absenteeism and turnover. It’s proving that you don’t have to work in the office to be productive and performative. Hybrid and remote workplaces represent this generation's expectation of flexibility and access to a balanced life. It showcases the shift of human capabilities and mindset- A few years ago, working from home wasn’t the norm with many people thinking that they had to go to the office to be effective, but in the tech industry, young Millennials and Generation Z have shifted the way we think about the work process, overall. The technology industry has redefined what work is, how you do that work, and where exactly you can do that work- and because of this, the workforce will forever be changed. Whether you like remote/hybrid work or not, the average working American does, so trying to implement or at least acknowledge this type of working environment into your team’s work process might be beneficial to your company's overall success, reputation, and competitive edge.
92% of employees expect to continue working from home at least one time per week and 80% of employees expect to do so at least three times per week (Owl Labs).
An estimated 73% of all departments will have remote workers by 2028 (Fundera).
Over 97% of remote employees say they would like to continue working remotely, at least part-time, for the rest of their career (Buffer).
A work environment has so much impact on how an individual will perform. If you work in an environment that doesn’t provide you with the proper essentials and necessities to do your work, doesn’t motivate you, doesn’t practice open communication, and doesn’t focus on employee well-being, your entire work experience will be unsatisfactory. The reason we can conclude this is due to what work culture is. Work culture is the character and personality of your organization. It's what makes your business unique and is the sum of your company’s values, traditions, beliefs, interactions, behaviors, and attitudes. If your workplace has toxic behaviors or leadership how can you expect your employees to be exemplary team members when they don’t have an exemplary working environment. You get what you give, especially in business. Give your team a positive work environment and the sky’s the limit to their capabilities, but give your team a negative work environment and watch your top talent leave and your reputation suffer.
Resetting your company culture can help allow your team to become reinvested into the business. Connection drives workplace culture so making sure your team is connecting through various team-building activities and focusing on leadership’s involvement with the team will help make the culture reset happen. Strengthening team dynamics will increase productivity and performance but will also help solidify your team’s feelings towards your company. To have an effective and successful team, your team members have to believe in your company’s mission. They have to have some sort of company morale, loyalty, and bond with the business and its leadership. There is no way around this- without this, your team won’t work together effectively.
The importance of workplace culture is evident, especially as of 2022. To retain top talent, keep performance high, and stay competitive a company’s leadership has to create a sense of family in the workplace. Try to think about this as treating everyone on your team as indispensable. Think about your team as more than just a business asset. Create the necessary friendly relationships between your team and leadership and you will have a successful outcome. How your team feels in their work environment, whether remote, hybrid, or in the office, without a doubt affects productivity and performance so make sure you’re focused on creating an environment that is peaceful and not competitive, helpful not unobliging, and one that is collaborative, not uncooperative.
TeamStage reported that “company culture is an important factor for 46% of job seekers and that 86% of job seekers avoid companies with a bad reputation.”
Quick Tips To Reset Your Work Culture
The tech industry is becoming more competitive every day. The constant changes in the workforce and lack of needed skills are making professional development a crucial occurrence in the average working adult’s work process and career. To be successful in this industry, you have to be constantly learning and evolving. You have to find the importance and necessity of developing new skills and acquiring new knowledge to make you more competitive. (This goes for the company seeking employees and/or an individual entering this industry/trying to grow within the industry) Every industry right now is experiencing change and requires certain skillsets, so professional development in the workplace is important to keep your team as competitive as possible.
The technology industry is in a continuous state of change and is always introducing new tools and better resources with newer skillsets being needed constantly- So keeping your team ahead of the industry trends and giving them training or coaching is pivotal to your business’s success. When organizations invest in their employees, team abilities, engagement, and retention rates grow. Your team stays loyal to your company and there becomes a strong sense of company morale among team members. Growth and development programs allow your team to not feel stagnant in their roles and feel stable in their positions which will in turn keep everyone motivated to work. Lorman reports that “59% of millennials claim development opportunities are extremely important when deciding whether to apply for a position” and that “76% of millennials believe professional development opportunities are one of the most important aspects of company culture”. This is important because it showcases what the current surplus of job candidates entering and inhabiting this industry are seeking from their existing and potential employers. And with Lorman also reporting that “74% of surveyed employees feeling like they aren’t reaching full potential at work due to lack of development opportunities and 41% of employees considering their organization’s career advancement opportunities a very important factor to their job satisfaction, it’s crucial to try and implement professional development into your team’s work process, not just for their future success but for the future success of the business.
“Work culture statistics indicate that fewer than one-third of business leaders truly grasp their corporation’s culture. While they understand its importance, they fail to fathom the culture itself. With team leaders having the highest impact on company culture” (TeamStage) they must understand what being a good leader looks like. They have to know what their team needs to succeed but most importantly they must know how to mold teamwork and collaboration into business processes and goals.
A good leader accepts change, allows for feedback, knows their team, has a clear vision that has been expressed, earned respect and didn’t require it, and believes in their team and their abilities to establish the successful outcomes sought. They have a desire to learn more and are eager to help their team. Training leadership promotes the changes you want to take place in the workplace.
“70% of employees in the US are unhappy in their jobs due to negative management. Leadership stats state that many employees are miserable in their jobs because of a lack of effective management. This could be because leaders are struggling to find ways to engage with employees. But how leaders engage employees is up to them. Studies show that employees feel less stressed and under pressure when they can engage with their leaders regularly. Employees will work more effectively if they have proper guidance from their leaders”. (Goremotely)
The phrase “people don’t leave companies, they leave managers holds truth”. Poor quality work, low productivity, disengaged team members, unmotivated attitudes, and poor performance can likely be pointed back to ineffective leadership. Training leadership will strengthen your workplace overall creating a more performative team and better leaders. The cost of poor leadership is a failing business so solidify your team leader's leadership style to better suit your company and team's needs for the goals you want to be met.
Soft skill training is on the rise due to the lack of these skills available in the workforce. Hard skills (technical skills) are teachable and measurable abilities, i.e., computer skills, foreign languages, writing, coding, etc. These skillsets aren’t lacking in this industry but the ability to communicate, work with others, and adaptability are. “Stanford Research Center, Harvard University, and Carnegie foundation found that a whopping 85% of job success comes from excellent soft and people skills. 15% comes from technical skills” and with hiring managers always searching for technical and relevant job experience, 92% say soft skills are more valuable than technical skills with 89% of the managers saying bad hires usually don’t have the necessary soft skills”. (Trvst)
Soft skills are important because they make it easier to form relationships with people, create trust and dependability, and can help lead teams both efficiently and effectively. Soft skills can be summed up as behavioral skills or “a set of interpersonal, situational, and emotional abilities that help the company and its people cope with the complexity and unpredictability of the world around them.” (cegos) Soft skills are essentially what makes you a good employee. Etiquette, listening skills, teamwork, communication skills, listening skills, and critical thinking are all considered soft skills. Some people have stronger soft skills than others but regardless everyone can use a refresher course and without proper training succeeding, navigating and elevating in the technology industry will be difficult.
Quick Tips On Bringing Soft Skill Training Into Your Workplace
Current industry trends have set the tone for the workforce. Working people have different expectations now than they did in the past. The new generation of working people needs and wants different things. We have to understand and acknowledge the shift of the entire workforce. People change and just like how the tech industry celebrates constant change and adapting to new times and new technology- New workplaces with better work cultures and environments that focus on team wellbeing should be celebrated too. Depending on whom you ask, the current changes in the industry can be seen as positive or negative. But thanks to the COVID pandemic and how it abruptly shifted what we knew and expected of work environments and working conditions, it looks like these changes are here to stay and will withstand the constant transformative nature of the tech industry.
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