How employee engagement efforts became a life savior in tech
April 3, 2023
min read

How employee engagement efforts became a life savior in tech

Ana Gospodinova
Ana Gospodinova

The tech industry is a demanding space where high employee turnover rates aren’t a strange thing to see.

It’s well-known that the industry allows engineers to work from anywhere while traveling the world. Or to combine the workplace and the quality of personal life in their sense. But one thing that can’t be avoided is the need to stay engaged and switched on.

According to our survey, salary still is a deciding factor to go or stay at the job in tech, but closing fast on the second place is workplace toxicity. It means employers can’t increase employee engagement by raising salaries anymore.

In addition, today, companies struggle to secure financial security, causing a series of tech layoffs, and therefore aren’t able to pay industry-leading salaries to retain their employees.

In all its complexity, the tech industry should rely on increasing employee engagement levels by improving their overall experience. We see another shift where employee engagement becomes increasingly more leadership task instead of HR.

Employee morale demands strong motivation

Harter, Schmidt & Hayes (2002) refer to engagement as an individual’s involvement and satisfaction with and enthusiasm for work.

Relations between leadership, superiors, team leads, and engineers can’t be closed when observing employee engagement. Especially considering that:

  • 29% of engineers consider quitting their company because of superiors
  • Those who work for engaging superiors are more motivated and driven to contribute to the overall progress
  • Employees are more engaged if their superiors help them set clear personal goals
  • Focus on employees’ weaknesses leads to disengagement
employee engagement saves tech

In these times of uncertainty morale of your employees demands strong motivation from leadership first. Engaged employees are loyal and take ownership of their work, pushing themselves the best they can to achieve individual and team goals.

If increased salary levels are out of option, as well as introducing top benefits for employees, the situation still isn’t desperate. Actually, there are many more options in this equation.

Areas of enhancing employee engagement

Let’s get a few steps back. When conducting interviews for certain job roles, software engineers, besides salary, are interested to know more from their superiors about expectations and career paths the company offers, according to the same survey.

Here are some areas of improvement for your team.

Well-aware leaders should think about how to offer career growth for their employees. Investing affordable money and time into the growth of your engineers sends a powerful message that you value them as team members. In return, engaged engineers are the ones who recognize they have room to grow and gradually take on bigger responsibilities.

When looking to improve employee engagement, onboarding becomes essential, as you want to hand over the first project to your new hire. According to a survey, good onboarding makes more than 69% of employees stay with a company for three years. Unfortunately, HR departments are missing the overall importance of preboarding. Staying in regular touch with new hires before they officially enter the company structure secures newcomers with what to expect while taking care of their travel needs in the era of hybrid working will make your company outstanding in terms of engagement and engineer satisfaction.

employee engagement saves tech

Building a company culture of trust and transparency is something we learned during the pandemic times, but it’s important for leadership to maintain that positive effect today. They have to create a transparent work environment where access is freely given to all information. Bringing software engineers back to the office is something out of the discussion, which builds large pressure on leadership these days. Therefore, understanding that the future of work is remote and driven by technology should be important in decreasing mistrust when innovating.

Don’t forget that increased productivity during the pandemic brought additional pressure on employees in tech. Pushing productivity through the 9 to 5 concept won’t fit anymore. Essentially, a nonlinear workday allows employees to avoid working from 9 to 5, but regular periods where they work do not match the standard working hours. Increasing productivity can generously contribute to employee engagement by removing the clock productivity measurements and focusing on actual deadline delivery.

Recognition of employees at work and knowing that career growth can improve their well-being and satisfaction contribute significantly to employee engagement. Making them excited to go to work and tackle their day-to-day tasks increase their passion for work matters and becomes a massive driver for employee engagement.

Avoiding burnout is almost impossible, and it largely affects employee well-being. It affects productivity, energy levels, and mental distance from work. It’s widely accepted, but it sublimes the core of the problem: being unhappy with the job, company, startup, colleague(s), or boss. Identifying who’s approaching the state of burnout becomes increasingly important for company leadership and the HR team.

Wrapping up

The willingness of employees to identify themselves with the company’s mission and vision becomes highly valuable today. Learning to diagnose and then act accordingly is employers’ only chance to retain scarce human resources, such as tech talent, but also to attract. Company leadership must prioritize employee engagement and fully dedicate its time and efforts.

Source: Harter, J. K., Schmidt, F. L., & Hayes, T. L. (2002). Business-unit-level relationship between employee satisfaction employee engagement, and business outcomes: A meta-analysis. Journal of Applied Psychology, 87, 268-279.


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