Workplace Culture in Tech Companies: Are Bean Bags What People are Looking For?

Blog / Workplace Culture in Tech Companies: Are Bean Bags What People are Looking For?

3 Things You Need to Do Now to Create Better Workplace Culture at Your Tech Company

No matter the industry, creating a great place to work results in great ideas and great work happening. 

In the tech industry, there is a significant focus on data-driven solutions. It’s about innovative products making meaningful changes in the lives of others. But this drive sometimes comes at the detriment of what should be valued most–the people behind those tech ideas. 

According to MIT’s Sloan School of Management, toxic workplace culture was the best predictor of employee attrition in 2021. And unfortunately, tech companies can fall victim to toxic workplace culture because of the devaluing of people, particularly minorities. 

So how can you ensure that your tech company is a people-first organization that cultivates a positive workplace culture? The topline answer focuses on empathy, communication, and transparency, not giving employees game rooms and bean bags to have fun. 

Now let’s dive a little deeper into how you cultivate a great workplace culture at a tech company!

1 | Balancing Act

While hard work and inspiring innovation are crucial in tech, creating a culture that values a person as a whole is also just as important in other words. And your employees don’t just exist to work for you–they have lives outside of work, and being able to separate their work from their personal life and have time for that life outside of work is key to not only employee happiness but coming up with innovative ideas. Think of it this way, constantly working can run a person into the ground, and then they are too tired to do great work and come up with great ideas. But a person who can take time for their personal life comes back refreshed and ready to get down to business! 

For a work-life balance, you might consider a few things. One is the ability for remote or hybrid work options. This type of work environment encourages a healthy work-life balance. Another consideration is shorter hours for remote work. Sometimes people get more done in five hours at home than nine hours in the office. 

Many tech companies incentivize working in the office with perks such as free lunch, on-site gyms, and “nap pods.” But these perks have consequences (often intentional) which keep employees working ’round the clock. So ditch these things for perks your employees want.

2 | Communication is a Two-Way Street

Strong communication is the foundation of any successful company. One aspect of good communication is ensuring that your employees are open and honest. Building transparency into how your leadership communicates and the communication between teams and individual employees is just as important. 

But don’t forget that communication is a two-way street. As much as you tell your employees key things they need to know, you should also listen to them and what they have to say. First, you must create an environment conducive to the free flow of ideas. Everyone should feel safe sharing ideas. Whether that means you need to ditch the hierarchy in meetings or create an idea department where employees feel safe sharing ideas outside the hierarchy is up to you. 

But it goes further than that when listening to your employees. It would be best if you also heard feedback from employees. That means doing engagement surveys and taking to heart their feedback. Once you have identified problems, let your employees know the company’s problems and how you intend to fix those issues. And be sure to check in with progress reports of those plans to keep things super transparent. 

3 | Diversity Building Blocks

Many companies’ HR departments talk about DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion). But we all know there is a vast difference between talking the talk and walking the walk. Many have invested billions of dollars in DEI efforts. But are your efforts in hiring for diversity working? Is your office inclusive and equitable? You might say yes, but your employees probably say no if you survey them. 

So how can you hire for diversity? One sure-fire way is to hire for culture. The old hiring method looks specifically at hard skills, experience, and education. But when you hire for culture (soft skills and culture alignment), you can look at a more diverse group of candidates who bring other important skills to the table, such as good communication, organizational, and leadership skills. 

When you use Discover by Workzinga, you can objectively identify candidates you might have otherwise screened out of your process by looking at culture alignment and soft skills. This means you’ll have a more diverse set of candidates, leading to a more diverse group of employees! And adding diversity to your workforce is the first step in DEI. To learn more about how to improve your DEI efforts, check out this article on building DEI naturally into your workplace culture.