Three Problems that Tech Companies Will Face in 2023
The landscape of the technology industry is always changing. This can be exciting and professionally invigorating; unfortunately, it also means that technology businesses have to always stay on top of trends to ensure they are up to date on the latest information. But don’t worry – we have a list of some of the likely struggles your company will face this year, which means you can address them quickly and get right back on track, because we also included some solutions.
The problem: managing remote workers and in-office workers can be difficult
The COVID-19 pandemic jump-started a trend in which working from home was much more common than it had been in previous years. This trend is not unique to tech companies, but it is one they will have to address in order to best manage their team members and business. One of the biggest struggles in this situation is communication – technology employees working from both home and office have difficulty staying on the same page for company updates, technology news, and other important daily changes. This leads to frustrated team members, ineffective production, and a lot of confusion.
The solution: communication is key
When the work environment changes, communication is often the first casualty. When you don’t see a colleague in the office, you may forget to tell them something important. Or you may leave an urgent note on a team member’s desk, only to realize later that they work from home two days a week and didn’t see your note in time. Similarly, those employees working from home may be out of the loop for interoffice information and developments and feel more removed from the resources they can utilize.
This calls for an area of centralized communication, along with a solid process designed to update all employees as needed. Find a way that employees can access company-wide updates, regardless of where their office is. Work with your team members to find a system that allows all project development updates or sales questions to be posted in a place that everyone checks. This may be an ongoing list of memos in a Word document that everyone checks each day or it may be a channel on Slack that is utilized specifically for certain information. Tailor your communication plan to fit your company’s needs, and then, well, communicate it. Let your employees know what the expectations for these updates are and where they can find the information they’re looking for.
High Specialist Turnover
The problem: finding specialized workers is difficult and retaining them can be even harder.
Many technology companies rely on specialists for ongoing technology needs and developments. While these specialists are a unique solution to developing a successful tech business, it is also difficult to find a specialist that suits your needs. Once you do find one, it can also be hard to retain them for more than a few years, meaning your company is in a constant state of turnover as each new specialist hire has to take time to understand your needs and implement necessary processes.
The solution: find ways to keep your specialists through company culture and development opportunities
We have talked about the best ways to find and retain new hires [LINK TO BEST PRACTICES FOR NEW HIRES ARTICLE]. Though much of these concepts apply for any employee, specialists in particular are more complicated to onboard and retain. This is often due to the fact that your specialists are highly sought after, both by those in your own industry and those who are not. Your specialized employees will likely receive offers and incentives to leave your business and go to another.
This means that you have to make their stay at your company worth their while. We are not just talking about salary, though that certainly is a factor. But is it not salary alone that employees look for when they are considering a new job opportunity. Your specialists need to know that just because they have advanced in some certifications does not mean they reached the end of their growth potential with you. Work with your specialists to discover what they need from you, and how it can benefit them as a team member. Taking the time to seek out these answers will help you discover what your particular specialist is looking for in an employer.
Closing the Gap Between Departments and Businesses
The problem: those in technology departments or business often become isolated.
Everyone has walked by a room at the office that is off to the side, a little dark, and filled with monitors. “That’s the IT room,” someone will tell you, and that may be the last time you ever see it. Often, IT departments become isolated, especially now that so many tech employees work from home. This could be due to multiple factors: first, the tech department is often busy. They spend their time solving urgent technology problems and it may be difficult for them to find time to get to know or interact with other departments. Second, IT is often very specialized (see the second problem!) and that can create communication gaps with departments that are not as versed in the technology world.
Even in tech companies, you will likely find that your sales team does not always communicate well with the IT team, or that the marketing team is constantly having to double-check that they are correctly communicating a product or update. This is not meant to place blame; rather, to emphasize that departments become departments for a reason: all of the department team members know their tasks well. They just don’t know every detail of every task of other departments, including IT.
The solution: create more opportunities for communication and development
This problem is not one you can solve overnight, and that’s okay. You have the chance to help your tech department and the rest of your departments work together more efficiently. The first step is, of course, better communication. Using precise feedback and detailed notes will be useful to all departments – if the legal team needs to understand more about the latest tech product your company is creating, don’t skimp on the details. This is a chance for everyone to learn – one department learns the tech side, while the tech team learns what information is most valuable to their colleagues.
The next step to take is to create opportunities for regular updates outside of specific questions. You don’t need to overload your team with unnecessary meetings, but even a weekly status update from each department over email could be very valuable for your company as a whole. It may be a Slack message or a printed bulletin in the break room – there is no shortage of creative ways you can help your departments keep up with the latest from each team.
You can also use this as a way to help your departments get to know each other beyond just their roles at work. No one wants to attend a mandatory employee pizza party, but you can find ways to identify and share things like common interests and skills. That will encourage your team members to close this departmental gap in their own way.
Every problem has a solution – and for a technology company, finding solutions should be second nature! Work with your tech team and your business as a whole to implement strategies that will foster communication and increase productivity as you continue to develop in 2023.