What Makes an IT Service Company Cool
Whether you are a tech geek excited about the latest technology trends and fads, a programming nerd bent on high-quality bug-free coding or a QA ninja wired to track down the most untraceable bugs – one thing is for sure – you want to work for a cool IT service company where you would simply be in your element and your job would be equally rewarding, satisfying and challenging. A job can either make you or break you, so when choosing the right place to work, you better check yourself before you wreck yourself!
Perhaps you are being lured away by a headhunter to another IT company. And you’re really into exploring new employment opportunities pushed your way – what if the grass is really greener on the other side? Or suppose you have just nailed the interview and there’s a sizzling offer in hand. Huge! There’s bad news, though. It’s only half the battle. What are the odds of you ultimately landing at a more successful company and a better position? Or should you keep your options open and stick with your current employer for now? What are the major triggers for leaving or staying? The coolness of the company actually equals its corporate culture, so we would like to zero in on that particular dimension, as it permeates all aspects of the company life.
Whether you like it or not, you spend a good part of the day in the workplace, so it’s only natural that we are looking to work in a friendly and respectful environment with strong team spirit and ethical, honest and reliable colleagues and managers. A relationships-based workplace is one of the main reasons why workers hate to leave their employers. Conversely, a toxic working environment can stress you out and affect overall performance and sense of well-being. The culture should be modelled and built to stamp out stress, not add to it. For many employees, poor company culture often means calling it a day.
The culture of care and respect goes far beyond knockout perks and bonuses. People want to be around those who are sensitive to their needs, feelings, thoughts and desires – one of the key clues to employee loyalty and efficiency. It’s the employees themselves that make the company a great place to work by supporting, helping and inspiring their peers. Finding a tight-knit company with great people and family atmosphere can make an enormous difference in your job satisfaction level.
If a company is known for employee freedom, laid-back atmosphere, and no micro-management, it attracts talented people. The cream-of-the-crop employees want to initiate, take on corporate responsibility and have a real say in decision-making. They also expect to be treated as grown-up people and be able to voice and act on their creative ideas without the constant need for management approval. Savvy professionals wish to flourish and simply can’t afford to let their careers stagnate in slow-moving, bureaucratic, ‘dependent on rules, policies and procedures’ organizations.
Clear and honest communication is also an important building block to a healthy working environment. It appears that most issues between co-workers are misunderstandings (rather than real conflicts) resulting from poor communication. In the ‘speak-up’ culture both superiors and subordinates are encouraged to keep up the dialogue and address those issues head-on so that tensions will soon fade away.
Moving up career ladder
Another driver crucial for most people is career advancement and further professional development. Even if you love your job, folks around you and you are raking it in, but there’s no room for career growth and constant learning, you will soon find yourself stuck in a rut and utterly dissatisfied with yourself. The jobs we enjoy the most are those where we are learning and growing the most. You should be looking for more challenging projects (within your current company or outside) that will make you step out of your comfort zone, give you new in-demand skills and add to your marketability next time a career move comes along. In IT industry there is a growing trend to have developers overspecialize in some certain aspect of programming. While this may be beneficial to the software development process, it doesn’t help programmers deepen their understanding of the entire product stack. They need to be exposed to a wider range of job functions, try their hands at a variety of roles, take positions of increasing responsibilities and exercise varied skill sets to have the big picture, be able to build stronger careers and stay passionate about their work. If your company offers you a whole bunch of learning and developing opportunities from within, why move? However, if your employer assumes that you will always be there and you are not likely to be either promoted any time soon or assigned to a project that would put your brains to work, you know it’s time for a job switch.
‘Good job, man!’ If only we could hear those words more often! One of our greatest needs is to be recognized and rewarded for our hard work. In most people’s perception, appreciation and compensation go hand in hand. If you feel underpaid, it speaks volumes about your manager’s under-appreciation of your efforts and contribution, as much as a boost in pay is viewed as an excellent mark. Money is not absolutely everything, but let’s face it, most of us work for it. Cash is usually one of the deciding factors when taking on a new role. An A1 IT company is committed to providing a solid pay package to every employee and is always aware of what its competitors are offering to candidates.
Working to live, not living to work
Your quality of life will inevitably be impacted by the company you work for. It’s okayish to sometimes ask employees to work longer hours while working to a tight schedule, but people are not machines and can’t function in crunch mode all the time. They need sane working hours to allow for a healthy balance between work and personal life. That’s why the companies with work-life balance provisions are becoming growingly appealing. Flexibility may also come in the form of flexible hours, telecommuting, freelance, contract work, or other alternatives.
Shaking things up
Change is vital for businesses to stay nimble and competitive. Introducing change is connected to the culture and size of an organization and often takes a long time for large companies to make progress on. Small-to-middle businesses have more courage to embrace change and take smart risks. They are also more prone to try new things, which makes them more innovative.
All work and no play…
The boundaries between work and play are getting blurred today. People want to have fun at work and it might well be one of the secrets to keeping employees around. Happy employees are more productive and engaged, and less likely to switch roles, so fun is good for business. Having a blast at the corporate party, doing some fun team-building activities, or playing a game of table soccer will do no harm to the work process, but will definitely make people feel a lot better about their job.
Summing things up
Ultimately, it all boils down to the company culture – it either works as the glue that keeps the organization together or as the rust that devours it from within and makes the company fall apart. A strong positive people-focused culture:
- sustains employee enthusiasm, morale, and performance
- grants respect, trust and transparency
- creates the atmosphere of freedom
- provides clear communication
- builds and strengthens employer-employee bonds
- fosters career advancement and professional development
- recognizes, supports and rewards excellence
- prioritizes work-life balance and values people above all else
- welcomes positive changes and innovation
- and allows for some fun.
That said, a company with a great corporate culture is never easy to find. Ask around and do your own research to get the idea of what your life would be like to work there and decide whether this resonates with you. Here, at Skelia we are fortunate and thankful to enjoy cool employee-friendly culture and collaborative team environment. Better come to check it out for yourself.