10 commandments for tech employers

The young workforces that characterize tech companies bring special challenges

A new and innovative technology company may be an employee’s dream destination, but the youth that fuels these companies also makes them vulnerable to unique challenges. While the average age of American workers is 42, most tech employees are 30 or younger. This younger workforce is politically aware, active on social media and unafraid to jump ship should a better opportunity come along. Few of them have worked in traditional corporate environments, and their managers often have little if any training on how to supervise employees, much less handle stickier human relations matters. Tech companies should therefore focus on these 10 tech commandments:

1. Provide basic training to employees. Employers should assume that their employees are new to an office environment. All employees need training concerning office etiquette, appropriate attire and workplace policies regarding respect for others, anti-harassment, anti-retaliation, and anti-discrimination. With a young workforce, employers risk facing claims of age discrimination in particular, so special attention must be paid to training management and employees on this topic. Similarly, employees and managers must be educated on creating an environment free of sexual harassment and discrimination in light of the high-profile gender claims against companies such as Uber. Additionally, given the tech world’s culture of transparency, tech employees must be trained on company policies concerning political expression both inside and outside the workplace, whether such policies apply to social media use, water cooler conversation or interactions with clients.

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