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The latest Ledgent Technology news, tips and information on technology trends that affect you.

Ageism in the Tech Industry and How to Combat It

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According to Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median age of an American worker is 42. Notably, Medium states that professionals in the technology industry can start to experience ageism as early as 29 years old. When you manage a tech team comprised of several young professionals, it’s critical to ensure your more experienced team members feel valued and included.

Ageism in the Tech Industry – The Problem

Why does it seem that the tech industry favors younger professionals? When we think about technology, we are often caught thinking that the younger generations are somehow better at it. Whether it’s figuring out the latest app or understanding how to work a device, we’re usually handing over our tech gadgets to our younger friends to figure it out. Programs become outdated; workers can become complacent with the ever-changing tech landscape – it all factors into the issue of ageism.

One survey of tech workers found that close to half of respondents (43%) worry about losing their job because of their age (AARP).  More than one-third of workers surveyed (36%) report experiencing at least one instance during which they weren’t taken seriously by colleagues and managers due to age (Indeed).

While the tech industry relies on innovation and adopting the newest programs and skills, it also needs people with the experience of managing teams, planning complex projects, and understanding how to communicate effectively to run a successful business. AARP’s survey revealed more than 75% of those polled said they consider older tech workers to be highly qualified, and more than 80% said older workers have good experience and can share wisdom about the industry. Combating ageism in the tech industry is good for workers and companies since every generation has advantages they can bring to the table.

Combating Ageism in the Tech Industry

A survey conducted by Dice in 2018 showed that Baby Boomers and Gen X-ers are the most at-risk groups for age discrimination. In order to avoid ageism in your tech team, here are some important tips to consider.

1. Offer learning opportunities
Keeping up with the latest code and technological advances is always a challenge. Encourage learning and provide opportunities for ongoing education and training for your entire team. This gives everyone a chance to learn and grow in their career and makes them feel that they’re staying up to date with the most relevant tech innovations. It’s a win for them personally, and a win for your team’s collective abilities.

2. Assess your company culture
You might want to take a hard look at your company culture and determine if age discrimination is a problem. It’s important to make sure no one in the company feels isolated. Bias can begin right from the recruiting process. When hiring new employees, make job postings strictly about qualifications. Managers can involve people of all ages across departments in the hiring process to further help avoid bias.

3. Leverage networks and encourage mentorship
An experienced professional will bring a wealth of connections and networking opportunities for other employees. These opportunities are important for employee growth and for referring potential vendors and partners to the company. Additionally, an experienced professional will have the knowledge and wisdom from their past experiences and mistakes. To help your team thrive, you might want to consider adding a mentorship program. Mentors are supportive, knowledgeable and will provide the guidance an employee needs to grow in their career. A more experienced professional can prove to be invaluable to the company in helping shape future employees. By providing these opportunities you will encourage teamwork and collaboration and drive motivation to succeed.

4. Look to the experienced problem solvers
Don’t underestimate the power of your more seasoned tech professionals. With years of understanding the workplace and mastering communication skills, problem-solving techniques, and other factors that come up in the work environment, they may provide the solutions, maturity, and know-how to navigate problems that inevitably arise during projects.

Ageism exists. There are many ways to combat the issue of growing ageism in the technology industry – and a lot of it starts within the company culture. Encourage collaboration and foster an inclusive team to start actively combating ageism and giving all employees a chance to prosper.

How will “The Great Resignation” impact your business? Strategies to retain and attract employees

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Nearly 25% of workers are reportedly considering quitting their jobs post-pandemic. According to CNBC, “Of the 26% of workers planning to leave their employers after the pandemic, 80% are doing so because they’re concerned about their career advancement; meanwhile, 72% say the pandemic caused them to rethink their skill sets.” The pandemic has given everyone the chance to reflect on what they really want to do with their future – especially when it comes to their careers. We are now starting to see what’s been nicknamed “The Great Resignation” – people leaving their current positions for greener pastures. Naturally, employee retention has become a hot topic for many managers.

You have top talent on your team and the last thing you need (especially as your business is recovering post-pandemic) is for your best employees to leave. It’s time to come up with a game plan to not only retain your trusted and talented employees but also strategize on attracting top candidates to your company.

Why Is Employee Retention Important?

Retaining your employees is important for businesses to thrive. When you have a good employee who constantly delivers excellent work, you don’t want to let them go. Additionally, high employee turnover is costly for businesses – as much as 2.5 times an employee’s salary depending on the role. (Source: CIO)

Strategies to Attract and Retain Employees

Preparing the right strategy for attracting and retaining employees is crucial in making sure you have the best talent to keep your business running smoothly. Here are some tips to help you avoid “The Great Resignation” within your company and hire some great talent along the way.

1. Listen to your employees’ needs
Employees want to feel comfortable, valued and secure in their positions. Create an employee-focused environment by listening to and understanding their needs – both as a team and as individuals. For example, flexibility, recognition, competitive pay, work-life balance and social interaction with coworkers all factor into an employee’s decision to join a company and stay long-term.

2. Involve employees in the recruiting process
Employees who are happy at their company can attract other top talent and show them that they will enjoy working at the organization. When employees know that they have helped in bringing a new employee on board, they will feel good about themselves – which boosts morale. Additionally, referral bonus programs can create enthusiasm among employees to play a role in the hiring process.

3. Good benefits are crucial
Having good benefits such as reliable health care programs, retirement packages, paid-time-off and other perks are now extremely important for professionals. Employees will want to see that their benefits are worth them staying or they will want to move on to a company that offers better packages. Additionally, when recruiting new employees, benefits packages are a main attraction, so it is important to evaluate what your benefits are and make sure it is clearly communicated in the recruiting process.

4. Know the importance of diversity
Diversity is of growing importance in society, including the workplace. Make sure you are being inclusive during your recruitment process and have a focus on diversity and inclusion at all levels of your organization. When you have a diverse culture, you gain a plethora of unique insights, perspectives, and knowledge. Employees appreciate diversity efforts and are looking favorably at companies that demonstrate a commitment to a diverse workplace.

5. Provide growth and learning opportunities
Employees want to grow and feel like they are being challenged. As we all come out of the pandemic, many people might feel like they want a change or want to work on new skills when it comes to their careers. Give your employees the opportunity for ongoing education or upskilling opportunities. If they are interested in different teams, give them the freedom to help other teams with their projects and tasks. By providing these opportunities, employees will see that you not only value their interests but are giving them the freedom to grow and evolve in their careers.

6. Provide transparent communication
Keep communication as transparent and continuous as possible. Your employees want to be in the know and it’s a good idea to update them on what’s happening in your organization. Additionally, make sure to also gain employee feedback in the process, to learn what areas may need improvement.

7. Focus on recognition
When you take the time to provide recognition, your employees will feel that their work is being appreciated and that they are a valued part of the team. It’s important to acknowledge your team members publicly or privately (depending on their preference) and give them constructive, specific feedback on their work. Make sure to also set 1:1 meetings to provide this recognition especially if they completed a project or task successfully.

Having the Right Talent for Your Organization

Just like every individual, all businesses are going through a period of change – especially with today’s volatile labor market and economic conditions. When it comes to their employees, managers need to communicate their value and provide opportunities to grow.

Tips for Managing Hybrid Teams Effectively

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Welcome to the era of hybrid teams – where employees are given the option to work remotely as well as come into the office a few times a week or month. Some employees have enjoyed the flexibility of remote work and being able to tend to their children and other appointments during the week; while others are eager to get back the focus of working in an office next to their teammates. Continue reading

How to Successfully Manage Your Top Performing Tech Employees

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High performers are the jewels of your organization. Their positivity, drive, and ability to deliver results are aspirational to their peers. Your high-performing tech talent push themselves to innovate and create meaningful products and experiences and it’s important to manage them effectively to help ensure their engagement and productivity in the long run. Continue reading