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Why Successful Tech Companies Are Prioritizing Company Culture

October 11, 2019 Anthony Priwer

A lot of Nashville employers are talking about company culture right now, especially in the tech sector. America’s unemployment rate remains at a near 50-year low, and in a tight job market, quality candidates often find they have multiple offers from which to choose. As highly skilled workers, IT professionals are in particular demand, both from large companies and small startups. 

The Bradford Group works with a number of tech startups, one of whose CIOs told me recently that he’s found job candidates are willing to compromise $10,000 or more in salary if they feel a role elsewhere will be more meaningful and challenging. He said another key factor in applicants deciding which job offer to accept is their perception of a company’s culture. 

That’s why – at people-savvy tech companies, large and small – investments are being made in “bling” personal hardware and work areas, free snacks and drinks, games areas and similar perks. Flexible work hours, opportunities to work remotely, and generous paid-time-off policies are among other tools also being used to increase job satisfaction for existing team members, and impress job candidates during an office walk-through.      

If your company isn’t already focusing on employee experience, perhaps you should. Here are three ways in which culture can significantly impact your company’s success.            

1. Hiring

From the physical working environment to the psychological, your company culture is a considerable asset or liability in attracting top candidates. 

As well as information gleaned from initial impressions during the hiring process, applicants researching an employer now have access to current and former employees’ anonymous and candid company reviews on job sites like GlassDoor. Candidates don’t expect every rating to be five stars, but if none of your ratings are high, they may consider that a red flag. Happy current and former employees can be great ambassadors for your company, and through their own networks can also refer to you potential candidates who are likely to be a good organizational fit, culturally and skill-wise.    

2. Retention

You don’t need me to tell you that an employee is more likely to stay in a job that they enjoy. What employers sometimes forget, however, is the major financial and organizational costs of an employee’s departure. 

75 percent of the reasons for employee turnover are preventable

A 2017 report from the Work Institute found it costs companies 33 percent of an employee’s annual salary to hire a replacement if that worker leaves. In dollar terms, that’s around $21,000 for Nashville’s current average IT salary of $63,500. There are also indirect costs that stem from the loss of the employee’s organizational knowledge and promotion potential, the time spent finding a replacement and the time it takes for a new hire to become fully operational.        

If you’re looking at ways to improve your company culture and boost staff retention rates, the Work Institute report highlighted that 75 percent of the reasons for employee turnover are preventable. In exit interviews, the top reasons survey respondents gave for leaving their job were career development (22 percent), work-life balance (12 percent), manager behavior (11 percent), compensation and benefits (9 percent) and well-being (9 percent).  

3. Productivity

When your company culture is positive and strong, your employees will naturally work harder. Not only will they work harder in meeting the minimum requirements of their role, they’ll also be willing to go above and beyond when needed. Furthermore, happy employees are more likely to share with you their best ideas, some of which may prove highly valuable.   

The key to achieving this optimum level of employee engagement is for your team members to feel that their employment is a mutually beneficial arrangement beyond salary. To this end, it’s worth getting to know your employees individual priorities because elements of company culture that matter to some may not be at all important to others. For example, one employee may value team social outings while another may place more value on minimizing work-related time commitments.     

At the Bradford Group, we pride ourselves on our company culture, and if you ever visit our offices to discuss your company’s PR strategy, we’d be more than happy to show you around.  

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