employee engagement, happy office

Four ways tech firms can keep employee engagement high when they work remotely

employee engagement, happy officeKirsty Carter, chief of staff for cloud and technology services and solutions provider, Solutionize Global.

With the Coronavirus global pandemic affecting every aspect of normal life, organisations are having to shift quickly to working remotely and for employees to have greater autonomy, with no real idea of how long it will last.

The key challenges for many tech businesses are around retaining engagement, motivation, productivity and minimising panic across a team demographic encompassing different experiences and skillsets.

It’s been well-documented that firms with an engaged team are said to achieve 21% higher profitability according to Gallup. And, furthermore, a huge 85% of organisations are failing to motivate their staff globally – so the importance on getting remote working right shouldn’t be underestimated.

Shifting the workforce to a completely online model can help to safeguard them during challenging trading times, whilst ensuring the enterprise’s bottom line is not impacted too harshly. Business as usual for all stakeholders is crucial right now.

Without a physical office presence there is the potential for the quality of working life and team relationships to falter, alongside strained mental health and wellbeing issues as uncertainty takes its toll.

Additionally, there is a renewed need to ensure that if employees do contract COVID-19 that they follow government guidelines on welfare and isolation, and don’t have worries around sick leave and time-off that might affect their decision making.

Here are some key ways in which employers can encourage – and nurture – employee engagement when remote working.

  1. Starting the day right

A good tip is to begin with a team call – preferably using a video platform – and kick-off the agenda asking employees how they’re doing. During the current climate too, it’s worth asking about their family members as there might be concerns that are impacting colleagues on a physical and mental level. Expectations and deliverables for the day can also be achieved in these calls.

It’s important for tech leaders to understand how successful remote working can be – and how it’s often enhanced with a strong routine and structure, alongside the right support and environment.

Having faith in staff to be autonomous is imperative too – but don’t underestimate the appreciate for regular contact.

  1. Setting up for success

Working from home doesn’t just require routine and discipline, it must also have a workspace that suits employees’ needs.

There may be a request for additional equipment – such as laptops, a second screen, power adaptors, and even chairs and whiteboards! Keeping an inventory of what has been signed-out where – and with who – helps to understand what extra support can be provided. Connectivity needs must also be met, and any additional costs they may incur should be organised to be paid.

And as well as making sure everyone is trained in how to utilise their equipment, it’s important to partner teams up where necessary – to avoid someone feeling alone – and remain in contact with employees throughout. Asking if they’re comfortable in their surroundings can be a major morale boost.

  1. Upskilling and investment

If a tech business is working towards an accreditation or website update, launching a new platform, preparing internal training courses, updating policies and procedures, when working remotely it’s a great time to focus on these projects so that organisations can come out the other side polished, and ready to return to normality.

If the usual roles and responsibilities have been reduced due to market conditions, share links to online training courses and sign teams up for online learning too. Amongst the uncertainty and worry, this could prove to be an ideal time to re-focus the mind and upskill whilst at home.

Providing a platform for development can help organisations reap a wealth of benefits from their employees – something which has never been more pertinent than in a modern-day tech team that’s constantly tasked with staying ahead of the curve, and challenged to survive in turbulent times.

As well as promoting motivation and engagement, this can also underline how leaders want to invest in staff – and their skills – which is especially pertinent during a challenging climate when commitment and loyalty are vital in helping businesses to come out the other side.

  1. Comms, comms and more comms!

Some of the team may never have worked remotely before so it will be a big change for them. Asking senior members of staff – who don’t have reporting lines – to ‘buddy up’ can help motivate and ensure productivity remains at a premium. If, for example, there are 30 reporting lines, it’s a lot for tech leaders to expect staff to remote manage them on their own.

In addition, sending out practical tips on topics such as ‘how to work effectively from home’ and best practice guidelines will help to settle employees who might be new when it comes to operating remotely.

Another good tip for tech firms is to organise ‘virtual socials’ – these can be a mixture of business and team-building. Organisers are advised to change the time of day each time and mix up the invites list so that it keeps things fresh. Ideas for this could include a virtual ‘bring your dog to work’ tea break for 20 minutes or a Friday ‘live at five’ – with a tipple of choice to start the weekend!

By adding in an agenda to these sociable moments – to maximise the outcomes of each catch-up – these can provide fantastic moments for the tech firm to celebrate successes, talk about what’s been difficult, share any new knowledge learnt during upskilling, and deliver business news updates.

This type of regular contact should go a long way towards encouraging a collaborative environment – and keep a team as closely together as though they were all working in one space.

Working remotely requires a little more effort and commitment for many but, in a technology-filled world, there are really no excuses not to be creative and make it work for most organisations.

Kirsty CarterAbout the author

As chief of staff at cloud and technology professional and managed service provider, Solutionize Global, Kirsty’s role focuses on company culture, employee engagement and organisational growth. As well as leading on evolving the team’s in-house training, hiring, professional development and performance management structures, Kirsty acts as an advisor to Solutionize Global’s CEO, David Bentley. First joining the forward-thinking firm in 2019, Kirsty has enjoyed a 12-year, people-focused career and is passionate about investing in people, future-proofing learning and development and creating an efficient HR function to help scale the business.


young woman looking out of window, sad, coronavirus, stress

Why a global crisis has made us all rethink wellness in tech

young woman looking out of window, sad, coronavirus, stress

By Kirsty Carter, chief of staff at cloud and technology services and solutions provider, Solutionize Global

Technology and people have consistently played a critical role in how a business operates – and whether it succeeds or fails.

For years leaders have been building teams that are equipped to be able to work side-by-side with advanced digital methods and smart machines.

But has the wellness surrounding this always been of the same paramount importance? Perhaps not for many organisations – until now. The wellbeing of staff and their workplace infrastructures have come to the fore during this pandemic as people continue to battle anxieties – and the complexities that come with working remotely and maintaining productivity during a devastating global health crisis.

Navigating the ability to ‘switch off’ has long been a question that many companies have tried to overcome – following the explosion of technology. With work-based apps such as email and messenger services at an employees’ fingertips, managing these whilst teams work remotely has presented HR and logistical nightmares for many enterprises.

But, the mass move to working from home has also delivered many positives. From getting to spend quality time with family, avoiding a lengthy commute and completing tasks with autonomy and flexibility, employees have felt empowered to take control of their roles, agile managers have helped their staff to adapt quickly to vast change and remain engaged.

However, with anything, there are always some downsides. According to Buffer’s 2019 State of Remote Work report, location flexibility has led to 49 per cent of remote workers saying their biggest struggle is wellness-related. The reasons being that 22 per cent feel like they can’t unplug after work, 19 per cent are lonely and eight per cent struggle to stay motivated.

So, when enterprises across the globe are experiencing a critical need to be swift, adaptable and operationally robust, why do only 29% of HR leaders have a health and well-being strategy (2020 Mercer Talent Trends study) in place? At a time when businesses need leaders the most, much more can be done – and there are lessons to be learnt throughout.

There’s much more to wellness than mental health initiatives

Overall, employees need to feel safe in their workplace environment – regardless of location. They want to know their company trusts and values their input but also have access to gaining the skills that they need, in order to complete their projects remotely. Managers must be empathetic to everyone’s struggles, including their own, if they’re to get the best out of their teams.

So, how can this be achieved? Forward-thinking leaders find themselves at a critical turning point where they need to act quickly and gauge the level of systems and IT infrastructure their organisation currently has in place. They should be strongly positioned, understanding how each staff member’s setting maintains operational, cultural and mental wellness. And, wellbeing needs are imperative throughout it all – and entirely individual to each employee battling their own mental recovery from an unprecedented crisis.

Additionally, the C-suite must be agile and adaptable when addressing the flexible nature of what a ‘life after lockdown’ challenge looks like. Setting a firm return to work date is out of the circle of influence for most but we can present options for a staggered approach to meet every requirement. Again, it’s important to factor in how people are still feeling during this time – many of which (88% according to mental health provider Ginger’s recent survey) have experienced ‘moderate to extreme’ stress over the past four to six weeks impacted by uncontrollable matters such as financial worries, home schooling or the health of family and friends.

So, there is a commitment to be made from managers – something they can demonstrate by providing a safe, working environment and being empathetic to how employees must be feeling in real-time. And throughout all this, technology has a vital part to play in team wellness.

Effectively adapting now can positively impact business continuity

Utilising digital apps to provide mental health programmes – such as licensed counsellors on call – or mindfulness and stress management platforms can assist, alongside helpful resources people can consume in their own time. Managers should be savvy in their approach when combining tech and wellness each day.

From online training and upskilling opportunities to helping staff members focus on their own personal development and simply providing tools to control workflows and interact with colleagues – each element can play a vital role when used correctly.

And for many organisations, these practices may already have been in place and running smoothly, but what this global crisis has done is driven all enterprises to truly prioritise these methods – and give wellness the attention it deserves. It should never be a ‘phase’ or tick-box exercise either because it is Mental Health Awareness Week in May, for example. These processes should be rolled-out each and every single day.

Uniting a team has never been more important and it has perhaps forced the hands of many organisations to ‘get it right’. But leaders who commit to evolving their wellbeing programmes, maintain a mental health focus and meet technological demands can put themselves in a stronger position to positively impact their firm’s long-term health throughout – and beyond – this pandemic.

Kirsty Carter, chief of staff, Solutionize GlobalAbout Kirsty Carter

As chief of staff at cloud and technology professional and managed service provider, Solutionize Global, Kirsty’s role focuses on company culture, employee engagement and organisational growth. As well as leading on evolving the team’s in-house training, hiring, professional development and performance management structures, Kirsty acts as an advisor to Solutionize Global’s CEO, David Bentley. First joining the forward-thinking firm in 2019, Kirsty has enjoyed a 12-year, people-focused career and is passionate about investing in people, future-proofing learning and development and creating an efficient HR function to help scale the business.


Kirsty Carter, chief of staff, Solutionize Global

Inspirational Woman: Kirsty Carter | Chief of Staff, Solutionize Global

Kirsty Carter, chief of staff, Solutionize GlobalI’m Kirsty Carter and I am the chief of staff for technology solutions and services provider Solutionize Global.

I have ownership of all people-centric activities – from hiring through to onboarding, professional development and all HR matters.

I also manage our talent acquisition function which specialises in providing technically qualified associates to fill skills gaps in businesses. For organisations to stay afloat, they’re having to innovate and to do so, they need top talent – that’s where our expertise comes in.

Did you ever sit down and plan your career?

I definitely didn’t in the early days – I was eager to work, learn and add value regardless of the environment. However, when I got into my 30s, I had identified that I felt most fulfilled when I was supporting individuals. There is such value in setting others up for success.

Prior to joining the Solutionize Global team, I had experienced working environments that put profits before anything else and that leads to disappointment, disengagement and ultimately losing all the best talent from the business. I believe passionately that people need to be valued in way that they recognise, and be shown the future and what it can mean for them.

Have you faced any career challenges along the way and how did you overcome these?

A big challenge was the pivot I made when deciding to focus on a people-centric role – and getting prospective employers to buy into this. Despite having had full autonomy over HR in my previous roles, unfortunately, some companies didn’t recognise the complementary experience that I had and how it could lend itself to their vacancy.

We’re fortunate at Solutionize Global that transferrable skills are recognised. We are also do not shy away from talent from outside of the technology industry.

What has been your biggest career achievement to date?

Navigating the growth that Solutionize Global experienced throughout 2020 – from £9 million to £42 million in turnover! I started in October 2019 and jumped straight into managing the hiring processes for several new staff members. The biggest challenge was making sure the quality was still there even though we were doing everything at pace, and this proved to be vital preparation ahead of the first national lockdown. I’ve taken great pride in developing a Virtual Hiring and Onboarding experience within our business too.

What one thing do you believe has been a major factor in you achieving success?

Having integrity – doing the right thing, when nobody is looking. If you’ve got the trust from your senior leadership team to work autonomously and bring ideas to the table, there’s nothing you can’t do.

I have built this into the SG hiring process, I explore a candidate’s values and behaviours before I move into the competency and experience. I believe this has contributed to our growth during the pandemic. Although we are all different, our values and expectations of one another are aligned.

What top tips would you give to an individual who is trying to excel in their career in technology?

Remember that your existing skillset is fundamentally important. You might not have a tech background but that doesn’t mean you don’t have attributes to offer the industry. After all, you might come up with different ideas compared with tech-focused colleagues to drive the business forward.

Additionally, read everything! I’ve signed up to a lot of newsletters from various sectors which has helped to give me a breadth of information across multiple professions.

Finally, I’d recommend booking one-to-ones with the subject matter experts in your business. Do not shy away from your training needs, your colleagues should be there to support and guide you through it.

Do you believe there are still barriers for success for women working in tech, if so, how can these barriers be overcome?

There are challenges, thankfully I’ve never experienced any in our organisation. We have a gender split of 63:37 (women:men) with regard to our permanent inhouse employees, which could be seen as quite surprising for our industry.

It comes down to your culture and leadership – are you hiring the best people for the job or overlooking top talent purely because you’re used to bringing in similar individuals time and time again? Only companies can answer this and address it.

What do you think companies can do to support and progress the careers of women working in technology?

Acknowledge that skills are transferrable – don’t simply look at a CV or job title and think someone can’t add value. Explore what they have been delivering throughout their working life.

Also, make sure there are equal opportunities and family friendly policies in place – having these, and simply publishing them on your intranet, isn’t enough. You need to review their effectiveness regularly.

And, if we’ve learnt anything recently, it’s about the importance of providing an agile working environment that can adapt to — and embrace — everyone’s remote working circumstances.

Finally, make sure your job ads aren’t accidentally gender-biased in the way they’re worded. They should be designed to attract the right mix of people – for example, highlighting flexible hours, the inclusive culture, and annual leave expectations that support people who are trying to juggle multiple roles in their home.

There is currently only 15% of women working in tech. If you could wave a magic wand, what is the one thing you would do to accelerate the pace of change for women in the industry?

Be open to hiring from other industries, and live and breathe your inclusive policies.

Leaders must be human in their communications and immerse themselves in providing a motivated, secure working environment and thriving culture. Now’s the time to trust employees that provide value, and not focus solely on gender.

What resources do you recommend for women working in tech?

My CIPD membership is a fantastic resource for engagement, remote working, and virtual onboarding. I subscribe to an employment lawyer too, Daniel Barnett, to keep abreast of the latest legal guidance that could impact our team. Our lawyers and recruiters also deliver webinars on topics such as IR35 and these are incredibly helpful when expanding my knowledge.

Overall, I’d recommend that people not only looking at tech-specific resources but other subjects away from their trade to widen their understanding of what goes into a thriving business.


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watching a virtual conference on a laptop, zoom call, video call

Can virtual onboarding attract top talent?

Article by Kirsty Carter, Solutionize Global

watching a virtual conference on a laptop, zoom call, video callJoining an organisation can be both daunting and exhilarating.

However, when new and future recruits are unable to meet their colleagues face-to-face or even get a feel for what their physical office space might look like – especially during a global crisis – can they really get to know their company and be a part of the team?

The truth is, they absolutely can. That’s because – when it’s done right – hiring and settling in a talented individual exclusively online can help to break down any ‘formal’ barriers. It also provides a more time and cost-efficient process for both parties and takes away any issues that might occur from commuting.

This is, of course, all on the basis that the correct planning has been completed beforehand, and there is a structure in place that is agile enough to welcome a new recruit into the team seamlessly – even when they’ve never stepped foot into the office.

Now known as ‘virtual onboarding’, this way of embedding a colleague provides an alternative option for many organisations that are continuing to navigate the pressures that come with growing a business during a pandemic – and beyond.

For several modern-day firms, they’re exploring fresh and exciting ways in which they not only attract the brightest talent but retain their future services too. And virtual onboarding can play a pivotal role in driving many employment models forward, as a result.

That’s because a technology-first approach presents so many opportunities for employees that want to work flexibly and remotely – or via a hybrid mix of an office and home setting.

From an enterprise’s point of view, it widens the talent pool geographically and – if they’ve hired effectively – means that new additions can operate autonomously and settle in quickly to a supportive team culture.

Easing any ‘first day’ nerves

In the first few moments at a new firm, employees are typically looking to understand internal operations swiftly, get to know their colleagues and hit the ground running in a positive way.

And with technology enabling that process to all be done virtually, this can help individuals feel as though they’re receiving as good – if not better – of a welcome compared to stepping foot into the physical office for the first time.

Utilising video conferencing tools can ensure communication remains a high priority and any questions that a new employee has, can be made without vast disruption, or spending the time booking a meeting room to have a quiet conversation.

Speaking to colleagues can be made into more of a social event too – such as a virtual coffee morning – to avoid any intimidating, more ‘formal’ gatherings. And by inviting people into instant messaging groups and apps, these can all enhance the virtual onboarding process even further.

Creating leaders throughout the workforce

On the other side of the coin, a digital-first approach to talent recruitment can also empower existing members of the team. Encouraging them to host their own specialist sessions for a new recruit – whether social media, HR, or software demonstrations – can all help the workforce dynamic and upskill everyone as a result.

All of these elements form a critical part of a successful virtual onboarding process – and this can often only take days and weeks online rather than months and years to achieve in person.

And when things can be done seamlessly and swiftly, that means new additions can begin to add value as quickly as possible – and with that comes trust, loyalty, and employee ‘buy-in’ of an enterprise’s core values – because they feel like they’re being supported and motivated throughout.

Of course, virtual onboarding can take more planning and structure than when it’s done in a face-to-face environment. For example, employees who have joined a team and only operated online will require everything in place beforehand so they can truly hit the ground running from their first day. That means providing laptops, work phones, IT security software and passwords.

Ultimately, it’s about engaging with new staff, encouraging the wider team to get involved, and being flexible and communicative throughout. Providing an alternative, agile way to embed a recruit can open up more doors to attract a wider talent pool, and could help firms take a huge leap forward when it comes to tackling the ongoing technological skills shortage.

Kirsty Carter, chief of staff, Solutionize GlobalAbout the author

Attracting, developing and engaging the very best people at Solutionize Global is just one of Kirsty’s specialisms in the business. Embodying the technology solutions and services provider’s commitment to reliability and availability, she works tirelessly to ensure the team is the most successful version of itself.

A devotee to ensuring that the enterprise’s culture strikes the right balance of support and self-motivation, Kirsty recognises that empowering employees to fly, in turn, provides clear benefits to customers and drives growth throughout the organisation.


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How to create a people strategy for your tech organisation in four simple steps

Kirsty Carter, chief of staff at cloud and technology services and solutions provider, Solutionize Global.

Team holding hands, diversityIf recent events have taught firms anything, it’s that people lie at the heart of their business’s success. Whether that’s employees or customers, both can dramatically impact a company’s crucial bottom line – and not always for the better.

For tech firms to truly prosper, they must seek to maximise success by creating value, growth and opportunity – for all concerned. That means finding – and integrating – people strategies that drive an enterprise forward and create a sustainable framework which can be adapted and constantly improved.

Having a defined people strategy means that a company understands the role in which individuals play – and how the business delivers on its objectives. Additionally, for those organisations with a firm proposition in place, they must find a way to help their teams work alongside technology to ultimately make them more productive, motivated and efficient for their enterprises.

There’s no doubt that the digital revolution is reshaping the way in which everybody lives their lives – and how it has diversified and modernised companies to remain relevant. And, as business strategies undergo a fundamental re-think, the same must be done for every workforce blueprint.

As first referenced, colleagues are at the core of any business – regardless of what products or services are being offered. They’re the lifeblood of any organisation, because they can determine the success or failure of something instantly.

So, where can tech enterprises even begin when it comes to rolling out a modern-day framework that is agile and human-centred in its approach? Here are four initial steps digital leaders should take…

  1. Develop a strong company culture

A huge focus – particularly throughout the unprecedented events of 2020 – has been around employee engagement and motivation, following the UK’s mass move to remote working.

For many tech firms, they might have already had a robust infrastructure in place – whereby teams were typically rolling out a current model that involved a seamless pathway to working from home. However, even for the most agile of organisations – and their digital leaders – they would’ve been naïve to think that their staff would remain productive if their people strategy was simply sitting stagnant.

A strong team plan begins by implementing and driving a company culture that thrives and meets everyone’s needs. It should not only provide an open environment where all voices are heard, but support individuals, develop colleagues and welcome innovative collaboration.

The impetus lies with tech leaders themselves to build a model that aligns their business structure and strategy with company culture. Ultimately, a positive atmosphere inspires creativity, energises growth, and motivates a change and willingness to do better as a ‘destination employer’.

Develop, implement and sustain a reward and recognition system – where  employees feel empowered to honour and celebrate with their peers, colleagues and team members – and  that will go a long way to breeding a positive mindset, from the inside out.

  1. Establish core values and make them the foundations of your business

Any forward-thinking tech firm should take the time to identify exactly what their brand represents, and the role that their employees play. Keeping staff unified and motivated to do a good job is therefore imperative.

Those that fail to follow through with promises – and deliver empty gestures – may see their workforces begin to lose faith. And when core values deteriorate, reinvigorating a collaborative team could soon become an impossible task.

Understanding what the organisation – and its people – stand for, and implementing those beliefs and drive is critical for employee buy-in. All of these factors bring together a well-rounded people strategy that not only typically creates an unbreakable bond between colleagues but also attracts more business and top talent – to further bolster the company’s growth plans and future-proof its blueprint.

  1. Develop policies and practices

Without specific guidelines that underpin the foundations in which a company is built upon – that embodies sensible HR and legal principles – a tech enterprise can fall at the first hurdle.

Assisting employees to understand how the firm is run enables them to not only meet expectations, but illustrates long-term loyalty that’s embedded in a culture of wanting to be better every single day.

In addition, making sure staff know exactly where these policies sit – and the practices  they must undergo at each stage of their employment – relies  on effective communication from the outset.

  1. Talent acquisition

What makes a tech firm different from the vast digital noise so that they stand out to recruits? In order to attract highly skilled individuals – boasting attributes that will further enhance an organisation – there must be a strong differentiator. And that’s typically down to how powerful its people strategy remains.

Company culture and a clear mission with key guidelines and believable core values – all with technology firmly in place to sophisticate employees’ productivity and sharpen their firm’s offering – are vital ingredients when it comes to acquiring new additions.

Innovators and change-makers know exactly how to bolster a business’s bottom line – but is the company right for them? Does it stand for what they value too? If so, this could be a key factor when determining whether a job-hunter hits send on their online application form or keeps scrolling past.

Having a comprehensive framework that’s supportive, provides development opportunities and an exceptional company culture can captivate talent. It will help to build a team full of loyal members who each play a pivotal role and place the organisation – and its end user’s – interests firmly at the forefront of their minds throughout.

To bring together a successful people strategy, there are key differentiators – and HR professionals must decide how each one impacts the overall framework. Whatever technological innovations lie ahead, it comes down to the investment in people that will make the difference between eventual success and failure.

Kirsty Carter, chief of staff, Solutionize GlobalAbout the author 

As chief of staff at cloud and technology services and solutions provider, Solutionize Global, Kirsty’s role focuses on company culture, employee engagement and organisational growth. As well as leading on evolving the team’s in-house training, hiring, professional development and performance management structures, Kirsty acts as an advisor to Solutionize Global’s CEO, David Bentley. First joining the forward-thinking firm in 2019, Kirsty has enjoyed a 12-year, people-focused career and is passionate about investing in people, future-proofing learning and development and creating an efficient HR function to help scale the business.

 


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Group of people smiling featured

Four ways tech firms can improve their employee engagement

Kirsty Carter, chief of staff for cloud and technology professional and managed service provider, Solutionize Global.

Group of people smilingBusinesses can’t escape the numerous analytics available that reflect the power of an engaged workforce, and there’s no wonder more tech firms are tapping into the ways in which they can enhance their day-to-day environments.

Firms with an engaged team are said to achieve 21% higher profitability according to Gallup. And yet, the study delves further into the detail – revealing how a huge 85% of organisations are failing to motivate their staff globally.

The latter figure appears to be quite a surprising fact when dissecting the tangible advantages of what it means to have a truly engaged workforce. From productivity to happiness – a team that’s positive about where they work is more likely to produce commercially savvy results, impact that all-important bottom line positively and ultimately enjoy a better quality of working life and improved mental health and wellbeing.

And several reports back this up, with Gartner detailing how enterprises that provide a working environment – full of career and development opportunities – can help towards a firm’s annual staff turnover decreasing by nearly 70%. From a commercial point of view, that can be huge when considering the cost implications of every recruitment drive.

So, why aren’t more companies focusing on enhancing their employee engagement to make members of staff feel valued? There is never a one size fits all approach for something as diverse as individual motivation, but there are ways in which tech organisations can improve their current offering – and become a more attractive and innovative place to work.

  1. Begin with outstanding onboarding

A formal onboarding process presents a fantastic opportunity to align expectations and set new recruits up for success. It doesn’t end after an hour with HR either, it should continue throughout a structured probationary period containing bitesize deliverables to give the new starter a platform to display their skillset early on. With everyone having clear milestones and outcomes for delivery, it’s easier to measure success – or provide clear, concise opportunities for improvement.

Embedding the company culture at this stage is also key. Open and honest two-way conversations and structured training should be in place to ensure both an employee and employer feel they’ve made the right choice.

  1. Providing an inspiring environment

There’s nothing more innovative for tech-savvy minds than a challenge to get their creative juices flowing. So, does the atmosphere and workspace fit the bill?

Offering somewhere that teams can brainstorm and discuss ideas, quiet rooms so individuals can reflect and take screen breaks – and if appropriate – provide remote and flexbile working opportunities, these factors can contribute towards an atmosphere that encourages collaboration.

  1. Growing talent from within

Providing a platform for development can help organisations reap a wealth of benefits – something which has never been more pertinent than in a modern-day tech team that’s constantly tasked with staying ahead of the curve.

Personal development planning – agreed by both employees and their managers – provides a platform for the colleague to demonstrate their desire to progress and should prevent them looking outside of the organisation for a new opportunity. In addition, regular coaching and mentoring opportunities demonstrates commitment and investment in people. It’s time well spent as individuals are often motivated to ‘do more’ in an environment that promotes lifelong learning.

To keep talent firmly in the business, it’s crucial they’re shown what the future may hold – but leaders should never promise what they can’t deliver.

  1. Maintaining an ‘open door’ policy

Leaders confident to encourage open and honest conversations with their workforces – and who follow through with any actionable points as a result of those discussions – can help staff to feel engaged and that their voice is being heard.

Introducing manager and employee feedback forms as well as providing a ‘safe space’ for colleagues to talk through confidential concerns with team members, should go a long way towards encouraging a collaborative environment.

Every colleague is different in terms of what they are looking for from their careers – some might be inspired by autonomy, others via team projects. It all comes down to individual choice, and that’s something every tech organisation must reflect if it is to foster an engaged, inclusive workforce.

There are so many ways in which to improve the workplace setting, but those willing to introduce simple steps that positively impact, reward and provide a productive and safe environment are all critical when retaining top talent – and attracting the innovators of tomorrow.

Kirsty CarterAbout the author

As chief of staff at cloud and technology professional and managed service provider, Solutionize Global, Kirsty’s role focuses on company culture, employee engagement and organisational growth. As well as leading on evolving the team’s in-house training, hiring, professional development and performance management structures, Kirsty acts as an advisor to Solutionize Global’s CEO, David Bentley. First joining the forward-thinking firm in 2019, Kirsty has enjoyed a 12-year, people-focused career and is passionate about investing in people, future-proofing learning and development and creating an efficient HR function to help scale the business.