Startup Story

Tech387's unique journey to a healthier workplace

The topic of a healthy work environment has been making the rounds in the corporate world for some time now. There is an abundance of videos on social media that both ridicule unhealthy work environments and endorse healthier ones. But what exactly does it mean to have a healthy work environment, and how can your organization achieve it? At our company, we've made significant strides toward creating a healthy work culture, and in this blog post, we'd like to share what we've learned along the way. Rather than providing a generic list of tips and tricks, we hope our experiences will inspire you to adapt and customize them to suit your company's unique needs. Keep in mind that every company, and every employee, is different. As you work towards creating and nurturing a healthy work culture, ensure communication with your employees and seek their input on what matters most to them.

What is a healthy work environment and how should it look in 2023?

The concept of a healthy work environment gets discussed frequently, but what does it mean for companies in 2023? According to some definitions, a healthy work environment should celebrate innovation, individuality, open communication, and two-way feedback. It should enable employees to collaborate and achieve their personal goals with flexibility.

Other definitions and common sense suggest that a healthy work environment should be both psychologically and physically safe for employees. A great culture typically involves supporting employee well-being, promoting transparency and openness in decision-making, and implementing effective recognition programs.

Understanding the unique employee needs and preferences is the key to creating a healthy workplace. Take the time to listen to their feedback and work towards creating a culture that aligns with their values. While the process may be challenging, the rewards of a happy and engaged workforce are well worth the effort. After all, a satisfied employee leads to a satisfied customer. In turn, it leads to a successful business.

So, let's explore how Tech387 achieved this feat and uncover the strategies and best practices that can help your organization build a thriving work culture.

Tech387's unique journey to a healthier workplace

Instead of offering generic tips that are widely available online, we want to share our strategy for creating a healthy work environment.

Our approach begins with defining clear company values and leading by example. It is crucial to hire the right people if you want to build a thriving organization. Creating a healthy work environment is not enough. The success of your business depends on the individuals you hire. We believe in the old saying that "one rotten egg spoils the entire basket," and it should guide your hiring process. A single toxic employee can spread negative energy and poison the entire team.

To address this, we recommend establishing a strong people operations team, led by someone skilled in managing interpersonal relationships, like our Amer. Implementing a two-way feedback process will enable dissatisfied employees to seek solutions from the people operations department before issues escalate. You can prevent most conflicts from escalating by resolving them promptly.

While hiring, consider the technical skills required for the job and the cultural fit for your organization. A candidate may possess excellent technical skills, but if their values and work style do not align with your company culture, they may not be the right fit. Tech387 prioritizes values and common sense over technical skills, which can get honed over time. Determine what is essential for your organization and hire accordingly.

If you have a large people operations team, consider designating a psychologist to work with employees on attitude issues or teach communication skills. As a small team, we have found that hiring based on cultural fit is the most effective tool. 

Boost your success: Embrace cross-functional teams for thriving results

We believe that assembling cross-functional teams is crucial to ensuring our products are of the highest quality. By bringing together team members with diverse skills and backgrounds, we can tap into multiple perspectives and expertise, leading to more creative and innovative solutions. Before the trend towards cross-functional teams gained mainstream popularity, we were already utilizing this approach to product development.

To put it simply, cross-functional teams are groups of individuals with diverse backgrounds and expertise who work together towards a shared objective. At our company, we take this approach to the next level. We incorporate cross-functional teams into all of our projects and departments. For example, when working on a new product, we may bring together software developers, designers, marketers, customer service representatives, and even finance professionals. Each team member brings their unique skill set and perspective to the table, allowing us to consider various factors and considerations as we develop our product. Although this might seem complicated, in reality, it is simple. To get a complete understanding, we will share a real-life example. 

During our first internship, Product Arena, we selected some of our core team members to play the role of clients, who worked closely with intern teams to develop products. Our reasoning behind this approach was simple: who could understand what we need in a product better than our team members? They could potentially be using the product in the future. By getting everyone involved in the development process, we aimed to provide a comprehensive learning experience and equip our team with the skills and knowledge required for successful product development.

But we don't stop there. We also incorporate cross-functional teams into our ongoing operations and departments. For instance, when we're working on improving our customer service processes, we may invite team members from different departments, such as product development or sales, to contribute their ideas and insights. 

This approach allows us to benefit from a wide range of expertise and perspectives. It also ensures that our products and processes are constantly evolving and improving. And by seeking feedback and ideas from unexpected sources, we can challenge our assumptions and avoid falling into the trap of groupthink.

Cross-functional teams are a cornerstone of our approach to product development and ongoing operations. By embracing this approach, we can stay agile, innovative, and responsive to our client's needs.

The Danger of Prioritizing Superficial Perks

We can not overstate the importance of employee well-being. However, many companies fall into the trap of prioritizing superficial perks like yoga classes and life coaches over the true well-being of their employees. While these activities can contribute to a healthy workplace, they cannot be the foundation for a supportive and sustainable work environment.

At the heart of employee well-being is the issue of burnout. When employees are overworked and stretched to their limits, no amount of yoga classes or coaching sessions can motivate them or make things better. The only way to truly address this issue is to ensure that you have enough staff to prevent burnout in the first place. While it may seem daunting to increase your headcount, the cost of high turnover resulting from a burnt-out workforce will be higher in the long run.

Preventing burnout is just one piece of the puzzle. A healthy workplace must also be a safe space, and every company should have strong policies in place to prevent issues like bullying, sexual harassment, and discrimination from happening. These policies create a culture where these behaviors are unacceptable.

People operations managers should be trustworthy and capable of building relationships with each employee. If an issue does arise, you want to be able to take swift action to protect the person who needs it. A team that can handle these situations sensitively and efficiently ensures that employees feel supported and valued.

While team-building and fun activities can contribute to a positive workplace culture, they should never take priority over the basics of employee well-being. Once you have established a foundation of well-being and safety, then you can focus on building stronger bonds between your employees. A supportive workplace values the well-being of its employees above all else.

This was our story, how will yours look?

Creating a healthy work environment become a crucial aspect for organizations in 2023. It requires implementing strategies that support employee well-being, promote transparency and openness, and incorporate two-way feedback. For Tech387, this approach involves defining clear company values, hiring the right people who align with those values, and prioritizing cross-functional teams. By embracing this approach, we could stay agile, innovative, and responsive to clients' needs. We tried to focus on employee well-being instead of superficial perks, and what about you? Do you have any tricks up your sleeve? How will your story look?