Hallmark 3: Eliminate Friction

October 31, 2019

In an era where technological advances happen at an accelerated pace, companies must find and retain tech talent. Finding tech talent is one of the biggest challenges facing companies today, which is why losing great tech talent is so painful and costly. Replacing a talented tech worker costs an employer 33% of that worker’s annual salary, not to mention the lost weeks of productivity.  

One of the key characteristics of a successful technology company is to be frictionless– providing a frictionless environment where tech talent can do their best work. Companies that don’t embrace the concept of a frictionless environment risk losing their tech talent.

The Impact of Tech Talent Frustration

Frictionless Teams: Innovative, independent, tech organization, agile

On a recent client engagement, we found that 50% of tech talent said they are “burdened” or “impeded” in doing their job. This friction was the number one reason people were leaving the organization.  

Imagine the last time you did a home project. You took a trip to the hardware store to get supplies. But when you got home, you probably realized you forgot a part, or had the wrong size wrench, or needed two cans of paint instead of one. This type of friction can make a project that should have taken two hours, drag out for weeks. Friction sucks the joy out of the task and makes you want to give up.   

When you dig deeper into the day-to-day life of a tech team, you discover that the team:

  • Waits weeks for access to environments, tools, and databases.  
  • Drudges through 25+ step processes to release code to production.
  • Gets bogged down helping new team members get up to speed on complex procedures which vary from team to team.
  • Performs repetitive manual tasks. 
  • Gets pulled into meetings that add no value.  

All these things add up to frustrated employees who are probably using time in those unproductive meetings to check job postings.  

Identify and isolate

The first step to identifying friction in your organization is to understand the day-to-day experience of your teams completely. Understand how much time they spend on doing their best work and the things getting in their way. Do they not have the right tools? Is there too much bureaucracy? Are there too many manual workarounds?  

Once you identify the biggest points of friction in your organization, put together a plan to eradicate them. Solutions may include automating your delivery pipelines, creating consistent practices in your code repo, or creating a hub where team members can access approved software tools quickly. And don’t forget to communicate progress with your team. 

The solution: two-way communication

The successful programs we’ve seen at SingleStone include a vibrant two-way communication program where employees feel that their frustrations are heard and see the progress the organization is making. This program enables employees at SingleStone to do their best work.  

The investment in reducing friction will pay off in the long run. When employees can do their best work they are happier and more loyal, which saves you time and money when it comes to the battle for tech talent.  

Is your tech talent experiencing friction daily? Has your organization lost tech talent due to friction?  Do you have a plan to eradicate friction in your organization?

Let’s start a conversation.

Chrissy Keeton

Chief Customer Officer
As our Chief Customer Officer, Chrissy Keeton leads our delivery teams. Drawing on her consulting experiences with progressive Fortune 500 companies, she collaborates closely with our client-facing teams.