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What makes the best tech workplaces stand out?

24 May 2023

Career progression, work-life balance and trust are the key ingredients to make the best workplaces, according to data from Great Place to Work.

Ireland’s Best Workplaces in Tech is an industry recognition compiled by Great Place to Work Ireland to spotlight the innovative, flexible and forward-thinking practices and cultures developed by organisations within Ireland’s dynamic tech industry.

To be considered for the Best Workplaces in Tech recognition, companies had to be certified as a Great Place to Work in Ireland first. This means the company must score 65pc or higher in a Trust Index survey.

Through these surveys, key differentiators are revealed between the higher-scoring certified companies and the non-certified companies that don’t meet the threshold.

The latest data from Great Place to Work shows that career progression and recognition stand out as major factors when it comes to what makes a workplace one of the best.

“Tech is a fast-growing sector. Employees want to feel they are developing their skillsets. Organisations who don’t recognise this may fall behind,” said Rachel McLoughlin, of Great Place to Work.

85pc of employees surveyed from certified companies said they were developing professionally at work, versus just 57pc of employees from non-certified companies.

Additionally, 84pc said they’ve been offered training or development opportunities at certified companies, versus just 47pc at non-certified companies.

When it comes to recognition, McLoughlin said employees who are recognised for the work they do are happier at work. “The tech industry can struggle with talent retention and recognition programmes can help with this.”

Data from Great Place to Work showed that the majority (84pc) of certified organisations gave everyone an opportunity to get special recognition compared to less than half (42pc) of non-certified organisations.

Furthermore, 86pc of those surveyed at certified organisations said management shows appreciation for good work and extra effort, compared to just 43pc of those surveyed at non-certified organisations.

Trust and wellbeing also vital

Work-life balance has always been an important factor for employees, but it has become increasingly important.

Several buzzwords and phrases over the last year or two have highlighted the pushback from workers when it comes to overworking, from productivity paranoia to quiet quitting.

Having a good work-life balance was a key difference between certified and non-certified organisations according to Great Place to Work’s data.

While 85pc of employees in certified organisations said their workplace was psychologically and emotionally healthy, only 39pc of those surveyed at non-certified companies said the same.

Meanwhile, 93pc of employees at certified companies said they could take time off when necessary and 86pc said people are encouraged to have work-life balance. These figures compare to 66pc and 45pc respectively at non-certified companies.

Management trust was also highlighted as clear differentiator between the certified and non-certified companies.

McLoughlin said it’s very important in the tech industry to avoid untrusting behaviours such as micromanagement. “Trust is a key indicator in any successful organisation of a great culture,” she said.

The desire for leaders that trust their employees was clear in the data. At certified organisations, 90pc of employees said management trusts people to do a good job without watching over their shoulders compared to just 61pc of employees at non-certified organisations.

The vast majority of workers at certified companies also said that management is approachable (90pc) and genuinely seeks and responds to suggestions (85pc). This is in stark contrast to its non-certified counterparts, with just 56pc of employees deeming management approachable and only 44pc saying managers seek suggestions.

“Maintaining a high trust culture, especially in the tech industry, means making employee experience an absolute priority,” said McLoughlin.

“It’s a no-brainer that employees are happier at work when they feel supported and appreciated by their employer and it’s distinctly clear from our data that the Best Workplaces in Tech recognise the sheer value of this from the top down.”

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Jenny Darmody
By Jenny Darmody

Jenny Darmody became the editor of Silicon Republic in 2023, having worked as the deputy editor since February 2020. When she’s not writing about the science and tech industry, she’s writing short stories and attempting novels. She continuously buys more books than she can read in a lifetime and pretty stationery is her kryptonite. She also believes seagulls to be the root of all evil and her baking is the stuff of legends.

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