Technology companies are racing to provide for the well-being of their employees, but… | technology

Attracting and retaining employees and talents to work in the technology sector has become a very important issue throughout the epidemic period and beyond, leading to more headlines of the “talent war” currently raging in various countries around the world. rage, especially technically advanced. .

Several decisive factors come into play in this context, there is still a huge skills shortage with very few people with the necessary experience and training that employers are looking for.

The gap in digital skills has widened especially during the last two years, as the Covid-19 virus has changed the daily practices of people as consumers and companies have become more dependent on technology in their daily lives, and as a result digital skills have ‘ has become a prerequisite in the vast majority of job listings today, It is not only limited to specialized technology jobs, but extends to other jobs and in various fields.

The number of employers and companies in the world struggling to find talent for jobs that require technical skills has doubled over the past two years, for example in the United Kingdom the number of these has increased from 35% in 2019 to 77% in 2021. , as technology emerges among the most competitive sectors when it comes to the labor market, as HR Solutions recently reported.

In addition to a worsening skills shortage, we are witnessing the so-called “Great Resignation”, a term born in the United States, with around 33 million people leaving their jobs in 2021. And it’s not just in America, it’s spread worldwide, and it’s definitely one of the most pressing challenges affecting the tech industry right now.

Employee welfare and due recognition

To address all these problems, companies must have a clear vision of how to support and nurture employees, and they must do so not only out of their responsibility as employers, but also as a strategic exercise to ensure that they can develop and expand their work. business in the future.

This starts with placing employee well-being at the center of any talent acquisition and retention plans, and in fact employee well-being has become an increasingly prominent discussion point within companies over the past two years due to the stresses and strains imposed by the pandemic.

A study conducted last year on employees in the United Kingdom found that 79% of them suffer from health problems, with stress and anxiety being the biggest problem they face as 62% reported it, which is a great responsibility on employers means to alleviate this anxiety. .

Many technology companies around the world are wondering about the best ways to improve employee well-being (Reuters)

Staff welfare is not a gimmick

With the vast majority of employers realizing the fact that employee wellness is now a key component of their growth plans, the focus naturally shifts to how to excel in this area.

Many technology companies in the world wonder about the best ways they can be taken to improve the well-being of employees, and there are numerous examples of what employers are doing in this area; We have seen some companies offering 3 months of paid leave to their employees, and other companies have started to provide free travel trips to their employees, and 30 UK establishments have announced the experience of only working for 4 days a week, as the writer and researcher “Darren Cable” said in a report published a few days ago by the platform UKtech.

The author asks: What policies, structures and welfare-focused changes can technology companies make?

First, tech companies need to realize that “wellbeing” means different things to different people, and as such, no single policy or initiative will significantly improve the well-being of all employees, so a more holistic approach is required.

Moreover, the change must be real and substantial and not just a “light touch” or PR exercise, or a way to trick employees into working more for the same pay.

In this context, a former Google employee revealed the “dark side” behind the luxury and luxury privileges that the company offers to its employees in its opulent offices, as NewsWeek reported in a recent report.

In a video that has spread like wildfire on the “TikTok” platform, as it has received more than 4.5 million views since its publication on March 3, Ken Wax said that Google – through the wellness programs and privileges that offers it to its employees — aimed at getting employees to “work more for less,” Wax described how a series of benefits are designed to keep employees in the office as long as possible. Wax explained that a Google employee could eat 3 meals a day for free, but dinner wasn’t available until 6:30 p.m., so the employee had to work late to get it.

Free buses also transport employees to and from work between 6am and 10pm, meaning early starts and late departures, and the buses also have a Wi-Fi network so people can continue working during the journey .

“It was great that employees could bring their dogs into the office, but it meant they never had to leave work to care for their pets,” he added.

Such scams will not work in the long run, and instead, companies should think seriously about how to achieve a healthy work-life balance for their employees.

Achieving a healthy work-life balance

To return to the author Darren Cable, who claims that achieving balance between work and life is fundamental for the well-being of employees, and in this context many researchers believed that the emergence of the principle of “remote work ” would make this balance possible, as it would provide more time for them to engage in private activities outside of Work, however, making the overlap between work and life more complex, and a recent Monster study found that 69% of employees who work from home experience symptoms of burnout.

The author indicates that the amount of work required of workers in their homes was often much more than what was required of them in offices, so that it took up all the time, and for this, technology companies will need to establish a clear policy on how to manage remote work, and employees will need to be clearly informed about this, and any The choice they make regarding their expectations of employees, so that they can maintain a healthy balance between work and life is essential, these companies must employees motivate to take breaks from work. , and set aside periods of the day to get away from their laptops and go about their private lives.

Financial empowerment

Employees need greater transparency and control over their finances, and for many this is more important than any other benefit the company can offer.

In fact, financial worries are a primary concern for many employees, especially with the increasing burden of life during and after the pandemic, as a study conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) revealed that 63% of employees say that their financial stress has increased since the start of the epidemic, Mintago’s research found that 23% of UK workers feel that financial worries are negatively affecting their work; The percentage rises to 36% among those between the ages of 18 and 34, as the author mentioned in her report.

On this basis, providing adequate financial support to employees will go a long way in alleviating anxiety and stress, and technology companies should think about how to do more in this area, either by increasing salaries or providing appropriate financial incentives.

Emotional intelligence as a leadership skill

For employee well-being to be effectively addressed, there must also be a strong focus on the soft skills (soft) of managers and leaders in technology companies, and this will be necessary if the company wants to have a culture that supports employees.

Keppel emphasizes that skills such as empathy and caring are essential skills to support employees, and are lacking by many managers, as “emotional intelligence” is an important leadership skill related to employee well-being, as well as increasing productivity in the company.

The author cites a recent study – conducted by Catalyst on 889 employees – that revealed some important effects of empathy, as innovation at work increased by 61% among employees whose leaders were more empathetic , compared to only 13% among employees who have fewer leaders. sympathetic.

Companies should therefore provide specialized training programs to develop such skills in their senior employees and managers, or hire managers based on empathy and emotional intelligence, and technology companies will benefit from prioritizing these skills.

In conclusion, the well-being of employees will become the most important factor in determining business success in the coming years, as companies that are more able to attract and retain talent will be able to achieve expansion and prosperity for their enterprises.

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