People are not alike so there is no perfect strategy or technique to personalize each employee experience and improve his/her engagement. Each person is responsible for their level of engagement at work. However, most companies that do drive phenomenal employee engagement have something in common. They value it as a driver of success and growth and they see it as a key business strategy. One that translates into building behavior and culture.
There are many great tech companies that note incredible results when it comes to engaged culture. So let’s list a few and reflect on what they do and why it works.
According to Mike Welsh, L&D partner and people engineer @Facebook, Facebook’s key L&D objectives are to promote respect and foster a culture of continual learning.
This was their idea of an approach to learning and development that was designed to attract millennial – an age group now most hungry for autonomy, continuous learning, and career advancement.
Facebook offers various benefits to their employees that provide personalized experiences in learning and development. Most of the learning actually happens within departments and is often employee- or peer-to-peer driven.
Facebook is well known for their effective and personalized L&D programs. One such is the Facebook FLiP – Facebook Leadership in Practice. This L&D program goes deep into teaching best practices in leadership – using case studies, coaching circle exercises with executive team members and team building.
Facebook has a six-week bootcamp on-boarding that is, to say the least, mind-blowing. Most companies have some sort of an employee onboarding process that lasts a day with basic paperwork and a rundown through the office and processes. With Facebook, the paperwork is sent to new employees to fill out before they even enter the bootcamp. And during their six-week bootcamp, instead of watching videos and presentations or reading wikis, employees are assigned to teams that work on actual projects. Each employee is assigned with a mentor and is given full access to the Facebook code. At the end of the onboarding process, new employees are asked to decide on what team or project would they like to work.
Adobe focuses their L&D on leader development. According to Angela Szymusiak, Senior Talent Development partner, Adobe distributes their L&D focus on all levels of leadership – from college grads to senior leaders.
Their senior executive team identified four key leadership capabilities needed to be cultivated:
- To lead with emotional intelligence
- To identify and source top talent
- To scale business focused on growth
- To innovate and disrupt
In order to scale their leadership programming, their Global Talent Development team has decided to rely on tech and in-house software (such is Adobe web conferencing platform, Adobe Connect) as well as on-demand resources. Now, Adobe offers an on-demand suite of curated leadership tools for e-learning and development. Adobe Connect labs with virtual classrooms, courses and curriculum are killing it with their 60-minute content.Another great thing about Adobe is their Check-in approach. Instead of making annual performance reviews, they decided to reinvent their review process with frequent feedback loops. These Check-ins are integrated into the company culture with a focus on improving internal communication, productivity, and overall employee satisfaction.
Google drives the culture of transparency and they have been very intentional about building it that way. Their mission and vision of a transparent work environment that encourages creativity and collaboration is empowering their employees.
Culture comes down to behavioral habits. As a leading tech giant, Google has created habits of creativity in their employees through a culture of transparency and freedom. Google employees spend 20% of their work time in doing something that’s outside their dedicated work function.
One of the recent efforts by Google in pushing this L&D practice into the tech industry can be seen with the re:Work program. re:Work is a curated platform of ideas, practices, and research done by Google and third parties – it structured and designed with a goal to improve work processes and culture better.
How to launch L&D initiatives?
Offer online education as an employee benefit
By making online education an employee benefit you will elevate employee retention. In the tech industry, recruiting seniors comes down to headhunting. Most industry seniors are rarely on the job market for more than 10 days. It’s not uncommon for a senior to already be recruited by another agency before announcing their resignation with a previous employer. One of the most common reasons seniors decide on switching employers is the lack of education and innovation in their line of work.
Offer courses by EdTech companies such as Udacity, Codecademy, Lynda and Udemy – they all offer affordable B2B subscriptions for employee education.
Promote in-house mentorship
In-house mentorship is a great way to improve onboarding, synchronize methodology and processes, empower communication and employee retention. You can organize meetups, coaching circles or even one-on-one sessions or peer-to-peer learning.
Mid-to-large size tech companies can make use of open-source or paid SaaS LMS (learning management systems) such is YouTestMe, Litmos or WorkWize.
Using open-source or third-party solutions is not always the best case in the tech ecosystem. Large tech companies that work with sensitive data or patented assets and methodologies which are not to be shared outside the company should look for and consult with top web development agencies to architect and design a custom web solution for in-house L&D.
Track employee engagement and satisfaction
Employee engagement and job satisfaction can be effectively measured and layered in as performance data. If you want quality work from your employees, you need to make them happy with their dedicated function and work environment.
Whether an employee is satisfied at work or not, largely depends on several factors such are:
- The recognition they receive for the job well done
- Their development and innovation opportunities that are given
- The quality of their work culture and environment
Employees are more productive if they know and believe that the management is concerned about them as a whole person, not just an employee.
Employee engagement and retention are definitely the key metrics businesses can influence to increase productivity. Great performers and future industry leaders are not bought with money, lunches, tennis lessons or gym discounts. These people care more about learning, innovation and personal career development than all of the above. And in order to earn their loyalty, you need to bring meaningful L&D into your organization.
Author Bio: Natasha is a web designer, lady of a keyboard and one hell of a tech geek. Natasha is always happy to collaborate with awesome blogs and share her knowledge about IT, digital marketing and technology trends. To see what she is up to next, check out her Twitter Dashboard.