Tech companies are often portrayed as fast-paced, impersonal, hyper-focused on growth and rewarding of people who work unrealistically long hours. Those who survive are grizzled veterans who evangelize the gristmill of the tech mindset.
Fortunately there are also wildly successful tech companies that do things the right way, like BambooHR.
BambooHR has taken everything great about a successful software company – passion for meaningful work, creating solutions that make life easier for others – and enhanced it through an extraordinary focus on the employee experience.
As an industry influencer in HR software, BambooHR has a unique approach to building a great place to work and the data to inform their programs. From its very first days, BambooHR has been a place where people love what they do and enjoy coming to work.
That may sound like a typical talking point for HR leaders who default to motivational posters and free snacks in the break room as building a good culture. The difference is that BambooHR has succeeded while acknowledging that their success is more than making money for the company.
BambooHR’s secret is simple: the company’s values guide the way it does business, the way it interacts with customers and how employees work together, every day.
The company’s focus on the employee experience has particular value now, because creating programs focused on employees is more important than ever as the titanic challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic near their third year. Businesses everywhere are struggling to figure out how to salvage their carefully built cultures.
Earlier this year, BambooHR set out to learn just how far employee expectations had drifted, and how it could apply its expertise and experience to help generate solutions for the company and its clients.
The company surveyed 1,000 employed working-age adults, asking about working experiences, returning to the office, opinions on hybrid workforces and much more. The results were illuminating and pointed to areas where office workers were dissatisfied with their return.
After months of working from home, almost half (43%) of office workers said the overall reality of going back to the office was not what they expected. One in three (37%) said they actually felt worse being in the office than they did at even their lowest point during remote work.
Respondents were asked to further explore the disparity between expectation and reality in specific areas. Among these findings: 54% of people expected to be more productive at the office, but that was only true for 35% of respondents. 61% were looking for better collaboration, but only 49% were seeing it. 27% guessed that working in an office would improve retention and loyalty, but that was only the case for 19% of people.
Intriguingly, the study also squashed a few generational presumptions. For example, millennials and Gen Z employees were more likely than Gen X or baby boomers to push for working from home. Younger employees generally felt more productive and wanted the social experience of an office.
As for understanding how to create the workplaces of the post-COVID world, one of the most important questions BambooHR’s study explored was understanding and defining what people preferred about working from home.
Certainly, staying safe from the pandemic was a major factor, with 45% of respondents indicating their anxiety about public places. Aside from avoiding the once-in-a-lifetime health crisis, skipping a commute (53%), work schedule flexibility (45%) and not wanting to dress up for the office (43%) were among the leading factors.
As a result of this process, BambooHR is better able to guide its employees and clients into each new phase of recovery. Among key recommendations were not to delay next steps, to keep offices open whenever health regulations allow and to open valuable discussions with employees on how the company could better meet expectations.
Above all, BambooHR recommended adaptability and embracing change as vital for thriving in a business environment that looks wildly different from two years ago.
BambooHR continues to generate products that its clients trust because it’s a great place to work. That connection isn’t always obvious to business leaders who are focused on the bottom line, but BambooHR understands and embraces it.
Of course, BambooHR didn’t need to conduct research to understand that building beneficial company cultures leads to a stronger bottom line. It already knew from years of experience that meeting their employees where they wanted to engage was always more likely to lead to positive outcomes than yanking people back to something they had left behind.
The lesson from BambooHR’s example is clear: smart companies that want to build businesses where people can be themselves and produce their best work don’t sit idle. They listen, they collaborate and they create employee experiences that become the key to their success.