May 24th, 2022
On May 16th to 18th, Technology & Services Industry Association (TSIA) hosted the TSIA World Interact conference at the Orlando World Center Marriott in Orlando, Florida. Companies large and small attended this event, including Microsoft, Amazon, Salesforce, and Tek Experts, resulting in over 1,000 in-person attendees from all over the world, and over 1,300 virtual attendees.
It was the perfect place for brands in the tech space to connect and better understand each other’s organizations while developing meaningful, personal relationships. Many of these companies spoke about rising trends in the industry, including five topics that we did not stop hearing about – all relating to people.
With 4.5 million employees quitting their jobs in November of 2021, tech leaders are no strangers to The Great Resignation. Especially considering tech has been one of the most affected industries, with a 4.5% average increase in resignations from 2020 to 2021.
The good news? Tech leaders shouldn’t be discouraged.
As new generations begin to dominate the global workforce, we are seeing major shifts in how people think and act. Individuals from TSIA, Salesforce, SAP and more provided great insights into what motivates today’s employees, how to keep employees engaged, the importance of personalizing learning opportunities and career development, and where to find talent.
For those of you who couldn’t make it to the conference, or for those that did but need a refresher, read on for a recap of these five key takeaways:
1. Understanding Your Employees
Lexi Provost, a Senior Member Success Manager at TSIA, presented an informative session called Going, Going, Gone: Maintaining and Motivating Good Talent in the Next Normal. During this session, she highlighted the major differences in what motivates different employees, with age being a distinguishing factor. Understanding these differences can help companies cope with the challenges of the Great Resignation, or as Provost called it, the Great Migration.
While 81% of Gen Z ranked feedback and recognition as their top desired workplace feature in the 2022 TSIA employee engagement survey, 80% of Millennials ranked their top priority as having opportunities to learn and grow. Not surprisingly, older, more experienced age groups desire mentoring opportunities to share knowledge on their strength areas.
Based on feedback from this survey, TSIA created 12-month calendars highlighting the frequency that different generations should receive workplace features with their top priorities in mind. By creating personalized workplace experiences, employees are more likely to feel engaged and valued and therefore, less likely to migrate to a new company.
2. Engaging Your Employees
With the importance of employee engagement in mind, Jim Roth, EVP of Customer Support at Salesforce presented Support Culture: Building an Engaged and Curious Workforce.
While TSIA considers the Great Resignation to be the Great Migration, Salesforce wants to flip the script and turn it into the Great Retention. How? By creating an engaging environment for employees based on the proven notion that happy employees equal happy customers.
How do we do this in an increasingly virtual world? Salesforce has created a roadmap, starting with a great technology user experience and an understanding that onboarding starts well before someone’s first day on the job. They emphasized, complementary to TSIA’s survey results, that continuous learning is imperative to an engaged workforce, which includes teaching managers how to lead.
Building an inclusive environment is also key to high quality engagement and it’s important to acknowledge cultural variations in feeling engaged, whether it be based on age group, geographics, or another differentiator.
Additionally, recognition has become necessary for engagement, which is also emphasized by TSIA’s employee engagement results. Not only should employees be recognized internally for their job performance, but it’s equally important to recognize employees for cultural achievements and through external, third-party platforms like LinkedIn. By highlighting these achievements through various outlets, you are showing not just the recognized individual, but also people outside the organization, that the employee is valued.
3. Personalizing Learning Opportunities
Learning opportunities are integral to engaging employees. Keep in mind, it cannot be just any type of learning. Tim Schutte, at SAP, pointed out in his session, Learning Can Change Lives, that yes, learning is important, but in order to have a substantial impact it must be tailored to the individual.
People often hear that you’ll be more knowledgeable and successful if you ritually complete certain tasks. For instance, you’ll be more successful if you read one book per week. However, it is all dependent on the individual. While some learn well through books, others learn better through videos or hands-on experience.
By providing access to different types of training through multiple channels, employees are more likely to retain the information based on what works best for them.
4. Enabling Career Development
Providing learning opportunities and engaging your workforce is important, but how do you measure this and keep track of your employees’ skills and engagement? Wize, host of the talent management platform Talentwize, shared with conference attendees the importance of employees being able to visualize where they want to end up in their career and what they can do to get there.
Using a talent growth and retention platform like Talentwize, employers and employees can see an individual’s current skillset and the skills gaps that need to be filled to complete and further develop their career journey. This type of platform helps companies decide what training programs to invest in and provides employees with a tangible roadmap to success, therefore increasing the likelihood that they will want to stay at a company that values their learning and growth – both highlighted as priorities in the TSIA employee engagement survey.
5. Finding Talent
Conference attendees agreed that learning opportunities, employee engagement, recognition and other workplace features are all important for growing and retaining talent, but where do they find the talent to begin with? Tek Experts could have the answer.
In the techbyte, 3 Reasons Why Africa is Becoming the Next Global IT Outsourcing Hub, Gary Bennett,Rwanda Country Manager at Tek Experts, discusses the immense tech talent pool in Africa, citing examples from his own experiences in Rwanda and South Africa.
Thanks to digital skilling companies like elev8 and investments being made by African governments, African nations are building up a talented workforce eager to be employed as they experience a 17% unemployment rate, and an even higher rate for Gen Z.
Not only are people in Africa skilled and seeking employment, but while many nations are experiencing decreasing birth rates, Africa’s population is set to nearly double in the next 30 years, with 70% of Nigeria’s current population below the age of 30.
With high English proficiency and convenient time zones for North America, Europe, and APAC, savvy companies are tapping into this impressive pool of talent. Many other brands struggling to find talent elsewhere should start looking at Africa.
Due to major generational shifts and the onset of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, it’s not surprising that companies need to allocate more time and resources into understanding their employees to better attract and retain top talent. These discussions are just the beginning, and we plan to share more insights leading up to the next TSIA conference in Las Vegas, October 17th to 19th. Will we see you there?