5 Employee Engagement Lessons SMEs Can Learn from Silicon Valley

August 11, 2019
3 mins read

Silicon Valley is often hailed as the Holy Grail of workplaces and is praised for their forward thinking approach to business practice. From offering insanely attractive employee benefits and employment terms, to having the funkiest offices with the latest gadgets, slides and perks to always being at the forefront of tech and innovation, there are so many employee engagement lessons which SMEs can learn from this hub.

For some, Silicon Valley is a more than just a place to work, it's a mindset of optimism, growth and idealism. Below are five things all SMEs and start-ups can gain.

1. Employee empowerment
Instead of having a top-down hierarchical approach, empower all your employees to take control of their roles and work. Ensure communication and coordination are transparent and create an agile workplace culture where your team can make their own decisions for the greater good of the organisation. Trust your team members for their expertise, skills and knowledge - remember why you hired them! They are gurus in their own right. 

2. Build your network and collaborate
Any Silicon Valley employee will tell you that the key to success is networking. Bouncing ideas off each other and brainstorming with team members out of your tenancy has the opportunity to open up potential and possibilities that before may have not been possible. Embrace different colleagues, speak cross-departmentally and learn and work together. This approach may open doors for both the business and its employees and will certainly create a community / family feel.

3. It's all about culture
Silicon Valley is often known for their office slides, free hairdressers, unlimited snacks and drinks and foosball tables - however these tangible perks do portray a strong message. This shows an emphasis is put on workplace culture, that it's not only about work, work, work. Management and leaders want their teams to engage, have fun and let their hair down - so to speak. They want the culture to be all-inclusive and one of enjoyment where employees love to be a part of, as this will in turn, hopefully, be conducive for creating hard working teams who work hard and play harder. Ensure your corporate values and ethics stand out when creating your desired culture and stand firm in what your organisation believes.

4. Embrace employee innovation
Allow your team to question, reject or accept the status quo. Innovation won't happen when your employees are forced to follow blindly without questioning. Innovation is all about trial and error. Give your team the opportunity to evolve and develop their skills and knowledge. Send them on training courses, crash courses in an area of interest to them or even let them do a mentorship programme in an area outside their direct role. Let this process be interactive and fluid so they can think out of the box... this is absolutely key when looking to engage and motivate in a real and effective way.

5. Focus on both employee retention and growth
Employee retention has always been a pain-point for many businesses, both small and large. There's always been a strong emphasis on retention, as it costs a lot more to keep hiring and training new employees than just retaining them and ensuring they are happy. The reality is in today's digital revolution, employees are always looking around. So it's time for companies to start focusing on employee growth. In order to build a strong culture of engaged employees, growing your employees professionally should be top of your agenda. 

It's time to cherry-pick the employee engagement lessons you'd like to implement from Silicon Valley. Embrace the fusion of innovation, culture and growth and stand out from the crowd. 

Staff Treats is an Employee Engagement agency which understands what it takes to stand out from your competitors. If you'd like to find out how we can help build and boost your company culture where employees love to work, why not speak to one of our Engagement Specialists today?

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Written by Talya Zwiers

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