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No industry is more competitive and fast-moving than tech. Innovations come rapidly, consumer expectations constantly shift, and companies have to be agile to succeed.

As a result, tech leaders face unique challenges. With technology continually improving, tech enterprises can struggle to keep their teams up to pace with learning and development and retain their talent. The biggest challenges for most tech companies include finding time for upskilling their employees, the lack of experienced digital talent, and retaining top talent.

Maintaining employee engagement is critical to addressing these challenges. Another stumbling block is diversity; all companies need to do more to establish and maintain more diverse teams, but many companies aren’t sure where to start and especially how to have lasting results.

Employee coaching can help tech companies reduce employee turnover, boost engagement, and improve diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace. Online executive coaching can also help tech leaders better utilize their leadership abilities to the fullest, molding them into better, more engaged leaders. Read on to learn more.

how can tech leaders reduce employee turnover and improve diversity in the workplace 4 min
By driving inclusion, staff stay around longer on top of being hired in the first place. Companies with inclusive cultures have 22% lower turnover rates.

Promote DEI in the Workplace with an Employee Coaching Platform

Many tech leaders are rightfully committed to improving when it comes to diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace – including diversity in senior management positions.

This commitment is crucial. The research is clear that we tend to categorize people through easily observable criteria such as age, gender, sexuality, accent, and skin color. This can become a stumbling block when letting in new hires or considering candidates for leadership positions.

Women comprise nearly half (47%) of the American workforce. However, they are severely underrepresented at the top leadership level, occupying less than one-third of the leadership roles in tech. Diving deep, women only hold 16% of senior level positions, and account for just 10% of executive leadership roles.

Not only is it difficult to achieve diversity, but inclusion is a huge challenge, with 57% of women having experienced discrmintation in the workplace. Nearly half (48%) of female workers say they have been discriminated against in terms of their technical competence. That means women are denied complex tasks and challenging roles because they are deemed technically inferior to their male counterparts. Worse, tech enterprises tend to not hire black and Hispanic women into tech positions – even if they have a degree in computer science or engineering.

Coaching promotes and helps maintain diversity in a foundational way. Coaching helps all employees develop an inclusive mindset and further expand their perspective. After intensive examination of their conscious and unconscious prejudices and thorough reevaluation of their values, practices, and organisations, staff at all levels of a company can become more accountable and willing to explore opportunities that promote and tap into the potential of a truly diverse team. These opportunities include hiring more individuals from diverse backgrounds and building and sustaining an inclusive culture where diverse teams thrive.

Moreover, professional coaching provides employees a safe space where they can be open and sincere. This results in the surfacing of issues and concerns as well as the development and implementation of solutions to address these situations. When companies practice an inclusive culture, every individual feels engaged and empowered regardless of their background. Every employee flourishes across the entire company.

And best of all? By driving inclusion, staff stay around longer on top of being hired in the first place. Companies with inclusive cultures have 22% lower turnover rates.

Tech leaders should want to improve diversity, equity and inclusion because it’s the right thing to do. But it’s also the business-savvy thing to do. Research shows that companies with women and minorities achieve better financial performance. A survey from the Peterson Institute for International Economics found that more women in the C-Suite positions significantly improves profitability. Companies with inclusive cultures have 22% greater productivity and 27% higher profitability than their less diverse and inclusive competitors.

As all leaders know, teams perform at a higher level when all its members are supported. However, no two employees are the same. Sama recognises this and matches employees with the right coach for them whilst minimizing bias and optimising fit. All Sama coaches are vetted on their values and approach to DEI. Sama has developed a training tool on DEI for its coaches.

Our platform has been developed with a unique insight into science, leadership development, DEI and corporate culture. It is crucial for tech firms to build and sustain a culture of inclusivity, as this makes all tech employees feel valued. With coaching for all employees, companies can play an active role in fostering DEI in the workplace.

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90% of workers said they are more likely to stay at a company that takes and acts on feedback.

Employee Coaching Platforms Help Tech Firms Reduce Employee Turnover

Employee turnover is a problem in every industry. This is doubly true right now, as the pandemic has triggered the so-called “Great Resignation”, causing millions of employees to quit their jobs. People value their time now more than ever, and are looking for greater flexibility and happiness in their work. A Microsoft survey of more than 30,000 global workers showed that 41% of workers were considering quitting or changing professions in 2021.

Attracting and retaining talent in the tech sector can be a special challenge. Tech firms operate in difficult, high-pressure and increasingly competitive environments where teams shift a lot. Right now, tech is the industry with the highest turnover. Tech companies have on average an employee churn rate of 13.2%; this can climb to as high as 21.7% for embedded software engineers.

In a survey of tech employees who had recently left their job, almost two-thirds of leavers would have stayed had their employer taken steps to create a more positive and respectful work environment. 52% of employees exiting voluntarily say their manager or company could have done something to prevent them from leaving their job.

One crucial step to reducing employee turnover is by engaging employees by reinforcing purposes and providing more development opportunities. Coaching for employees helps them recognise and value their strengths, become aware of the impact of their skills to their company, and chart their own path to their personal and professional success.

In a survey by Achievers, 90% of workers said they are more likely to stay at a company that takes and acts on feedback. Through coaching, employees can get better at giving and seeking feedback, and feel more empowered in their role. 

Coaching employees encourages them to confidently communicate and build relationships with their colleagues and managers, share insights to improving situations in the workplace, and help create environments where everyone implements their skills and abilities successfully in their respective positions.

Coached employees have also proven to have better work-life balance, wellbeing and are more empowered to thrive within their role. Employees leaving a company is costly. In one study, when an employee for a technical position leaves, the company is set back 100 to 150% of that employee’s yearly salary. For C-suite positions, the turnover costs is up to 213%. It takes precious time and money to find and train a replacement. Tech leaders need to improve retention and reduce their turnover as much as possible. Coaching improves employee engagement, and higher employee engagement results in staff sticking around.

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Employees who received professional coaching exhibited up to 17% increase in productivity levels and better performance at work.

The Impact of Coaching on Employee Performance

The tech sector is highly competitive. Success requires constantly adapting and growing.  The continual learning and development of one’s own skills is what sets both great tech leaders and great tech employees apart.

Coaching is key to helping employees develop their skills. Research by the International Coaching Federation reveals that over 70% of coached employees benefited from improved work performance, relationship and communication skills.

Coaching can help tech leaders in nurturing a growth mindset in employees.  Research found that employees in growth mindset companies, when compared to those with fixed mindset, are:

47% likelier to see their colleagues as trustworthy;
34% likelier to feel a strong sense of ownership and commitment to the company;
65% likelier to say that the company supports risk taking; and
49% likelier to say that the company fosters innovation.

Employees who received professional coaching exhibited up to 17% increase in productivity levels and better performance at work. Coaching  also has a significant impact on retention. One survey revealed 80% of Millennials and GenZer say they would leave a company that doesn’t provide workers personal development opportunities.

Indicators of employee engagement such as these are correlated with higher financial returns, and the culture itself serves as a recruiting tool. All tech leaders should be prioritizing employee growth – and coaching is a key tool in this project.

Online Executive Coaching For the Entire Tech Company

At Sama, we work with many high-level tech sector professionals. We understand the unique and escalating challenges faced by tech companies and their employees.

Coaching for employees can sustain transformational change across all levels of a tech firm, especially in today’s digital-first world. An employee coaching platform for all employees can challenge their ideas, help them refocus and reclarify, and vastly improve their decision-making skills.

With Sama’s online coaching app, you provide employees the tools and support they need to become the best versions of themselves. CEOs, managers, business owners, and leaders have all benefited greatly from receiving coaching.

By offering coaching for employees as a company wide benefit, you can show employees that you are invested in them and are willing to support their personal growth and empower their professional journey as well.

We’d love to give you a demo!

Cognitive diversity – the differences in how people think, process information and solve problems – is crucial for high functioning teams.

Teams with cognitive diversity are able to solve complex problems faster, perform better1, as well as exhibit more creativity and innovation2.

Teams that have diversity of thought and ideas are able to tackle new and uncertain situations more successfully. To date, companies have predominantly focused only on demographic diversity – such as age, gender, orientation and ethnicity. These are certainly facets that can enable diversity of thought, but companies should do more to include diverse perspectives in their teams. Without this, companies and teams can fall prey to “groupthink” – where people strive for agreement and harmony. Groupthink can stifle critical thinking and innovation, necessary to survive in today’s competitive landscape.

Here are a few ways companies can foster an inclusive environment that promotes and celebrates cognitive diversity:

Build psychological safety
Psychological safety is the belief that you will not be judged or punished for expressing your ideas, concerns or mistakes. Without behaviors that create and maintain a level of psychological safety in a group, not everyone fully contributes and the power of cognitive diversity is left unrealised. One way to create psychological safety is by normalising vulnerability. When leaders openly talk about failures and share their experiences – both positive and negative, it helps open up a non-judgmental space for honest and open communication, and people feel safe expressing their authentic selves.

Hire with diversity of thought in mind
We all have unconscious biases. These biases can affect hiring decisions. Companies have to be intentional in seeking out and hiring team members with diverse styles and approaches. One way to do this is to recruit and hire for talent that have strengths and skills that are not strongly represented in the current team. Hiring people with different educational backgrounds, specialisations or industry experience can also bring in unique perspectives and problem solving skills that increase performance.

Assess your teams
Assessments that help measure and understand people’s natural preferences, unique strengths and behaviours can give companies and managers insight on how to best leverage the talent of their teams . This can be a great way to create and benefit from a cognitively diverse team. For example, getting insights on people’s strengths can help managers create teams with complementary strengths and skills that lead to high performance and better problem solving.

Normalise conflict
In order to truly benefit from diverse perspectives, companies and managers should create a collaborative and stimulating environment that welcomes different opinions. Managers of diverse teams should be encouraged to re-think the idea of conflict and shift their perspective from seeing differences in opinion as a problem, to viewing them as constructive. A well-managed diverse team is encouraged to engage in constructive conflict that questions assumptions, pushes creative thinking, while upholding the end goal of coming up with the best solution to problems they are trying to solve.

In a work environment that is rapidly changing, promoting diverse thinking styles is key to building an innovative and agile culture. Supporting a cognitively diverse environment takes strong company leadership that is not afraid to re-think and question assumptions, empower their people and as a result, stay ahead of the curve.

1 Reynolds, A. and Lewis, D. (2017). Teams Solve Problems Faster When They’re More Cognitively Diverse. [online] Harvard Business Review.
2 Torchia, M., Calabrò, A. and Morner, M. (2015). Board of Directors’ Diversity, Creativity, and Cognitive Conflict. International Studies of Management & Organization, 45(1), pp.6–24.