Tech companies might be the biggest culprits of having poor practices that expedite an employee's departure. Many of the same companies that make the top 24 places to work often have low averages of retention for more than two years. High pay, stock options, and unlimited vacation time sound nice, but they aren't enough to keep employees satisfied and on the job.
Here are some non-compensation strategies to increase worker happiness.
As companies expand their work from home practices and employees stretch from one time zone to three, their workday can become a bit longer. Accepting meetings during business hours has changed to “acceptable” hours. The three-hour difference between San Francisco and New York is enough of a hassle, let alone an employee in Asia or Europe. Product Managers are starting to join meetings at 10 PM to meet with production teams in China; these meetings aren't even happening on the same day! Each group has a different date on their phone.
These late (or early depending on your location) meetings aren't easy for anyone. Each person feels inconvenienced and like they are inconveniencing their work partners. It may be a necessary part of business, but these meetings take a toll on their participants. Don't allow employees to permit this intrusion into their personal time. Besides being unhealthy, long hours for continued periods create fatigue and lessen the quality of a product.
One way to combat early/late meeting culture is to limit the number of meetings. Just two a week can be enough. Limiting the number of meetings will improve the efficiency of the sessions that do happen and support teams to work with local partners to troubleshoot their issues.
Encouraging the growth of employees lets them know that you care. An employee invests a lot of their time into your company, often more than a third of their day; investing in them will boost their morale and image of the company. Host book clubs of self-help books or have respected speakers come to your workplace.
The best way to do this is by giving grants to pay the tuitions of the bootcamps or partial reimbursement upon completion of the course. Skills learned in bootcamps are directly applicable. Students don't waste time on theories or writing papers; they drive straight into the work and are applying themselves. Allow employees interested in data science to attend top data science bootcamps to learn a new skill they can use in their work.
At times it can feel like we are just working for the man. Our hard work increases the company’s stock prices, and while we do receive a paycheck, it seems our employers are making money hand over fist. All offices exist in places with local needs. There are schools to be built, parks to revitalize, and people in need of food. As important as it is for companies to provide a service for revenue, they also need to give back to their communities. Charity work is one way of giving back.
Revenue and taxes are silent ways that companies give back to their communities, but there is always more to do. Offering career days to high school students and allowing them to take free career quizzes to see what careers might suit them at your company are ways to inspire the community.
Employees are often already doing some of this work, but making contributions through action can make employees feel that their employer cares about the community and are not just in it for the money. A company-wide effort to volunteer, even having work-free volunteer days, can boost a companies morale. Donating to a cause looks nice (and it is helpful), but allowing employees to give back to their communities is a reward that will reflect positively on the company by way of happier workers.
Your employees have an idea of what they want. Ask them before attempting to copy another company's methods. Being genuine, respecting time, and promoting employees' personal growth is the wave of the future for responsible companies that people want to work for.