The Great Resignation: Tech employees search for companies with greater social responsibility

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The Great Resignation: Tech employees search for companies with greater social responsibility

Tech companies can’t escape the year of the great resignation. Gartner’s Global Labor Market Survey from last month (Feb. 2022) revealed that 38 percent of tech employees said they are likely to look for a new job with another organisation within the next 12 months, down slightly from 42 percent in February 2021. However, the reasons why they are leaving might surprise you.

While compensation is an obvious reason with US inflation reaching 7 percent, 54 percent of tech employees said they would leave if a 15 percent increase in their total compensation package was offered and all other factors were the same. However, 61 percent said they would leave if an opportunity to be part of an organisation with a higher level of social responsibility became available, and all other factors remained the same.



Tech employees focus on ESG with retention and recruiting

An examination across industries reveals that tech employees place a high premium on social responsibility in terms making employment decisions. This could mean that tech employees are more dissatisfied than their counterparts with the social responsibility of their existing employers. While, environmental, social and governance (ESG) has become a key metric for investors, the latest data suggest that boards of directors should also make it pivotal to employee retention.

Technology for the good

Tech companies looking to harness disruption must shift their current paradigm from product-adoption-driven models to technology for the good if they are to recruit and retain top talent. Technology for the good is a product and brand strategy paradigm shift, owned by each member of a technology organisation. It contributes to the well-being of society and the environment by achieving the following for all products and services:

Equity: Creating fair access and opportunities, and raising equitable social and economic standards for all members of society;
Safety: Ensuring and mitigating risk, danger, harm, or injury to humans and the environment;
Sustainability: Developing technology and innovation products and services that address natural resources conservation and cultivate economic and social development.

Take action now

Tech leaders must develop a product and service strategy that centres on social responsibility. Thus, they must become an “employer-of-choice” brand for tech candidates by partnering with marketing and HR to establish and evangelise their commitment to product designs and services that benefit society.

To recruit and retain employees, tech leaders must take these 5 steps:

Connect the dots for their employees and potential candidates by defining their social value proposition. They do this by answering questions, such as: How do your products and service benefit all members of society?
Develop an ESG messaging that becomes a part of recruiting and retention practices by having clear and measurable ESG metrics where deficiencies are addressed in a timely manner and communicated.
Embrace digital ethics from the top down; employees must hear about digital ethics issues from leaders.
Elevate the conversation by focusing on digital ethics as a source of product value, and by linking digital ethics to concrete business performance metrics.
Ask the right questions about data and technology initiatives by focusing on compliance, risk, and social responsibility as a differentiation and value proposition.

This article was republished with permission from Gartner Blog Network.

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