Combatting the #GreatResignation with #WhyIStay
The challenges facing Vancouver’s tech sector are many and amplified by the additional hurdles of working while raising healthy families when home is the office, and vice versa. There are silver linings, companies that are rising up to these challenges with agility, innovation and a greater deal of trust and autonomy in their teams are seeing success and a greater, more diverse talent pool.
There has never been greater growth in Vancouver’s technology sector, and as a result, the best companies are all vying to attract and retain top talent. Vancouver startups are having to compete with huge companies. I know firsthand that the best way to attract and retain talent is through an intentional and empowering culture that plays to the strengths and needs of each individual employee.
Finding a network of cultivators
When I came to Canada, opportunities for female software engineers were few and far between, so to elevate my career, I really had to be strategic. I had to leverage my strengths, and also to connect with mentors and peers who I admired and led me to challenge myself. When I was looking for my next opportunity, it was precisely those sorts of individuals I found at MacroHealth.
Tangible perks worth celebrating
We see how competitive the landscape in Vancouver is for high calibre tech talent, so we meet or surpass benefits offered by much larger companies in the marketplace. Our team has a health spending account to be used at their discretion, and also benefits within their plan that can go to supporting things like fertility treatments. Those won’t matter to everyone, but they are there.
Our approach to benefits is to ensure each team member is supported in whatever areas matter the most to them, while staying competitive and going beyond what other major companies are offering to attract and keep top talent.
- No arbitrary cap on paid time off – being results-driven means we trust ourselves and our employees to know what’s best
- Discretionary health allowance within benefits, including things like fertility prescriptions
- Culture of collaboration – when one individual needs help, other team members step up
- Flexible maternity/paternity leave, including PTO for loss of pregnancy
- Equity options for staff to connect a sense of ownership
- Sponsorship of employees’ Permanent Residency visas so they’re able to move to Canada
- Weekly pulse checks and manager check-ins to quarterly surveys, we focus on what is important to our team, and revisit that often to make the most impact
- Enhanced medical, dental, vision benefits
- Retirement plan contributions
- A team member-driven Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Resource Group
Who you work with matters as much as what you work on
When I was considering my next career move, one of the things that was key for me was that I got to actually know the founders of the company. I learned what the company was about, and what about their organization made them leaders in their market. We all want to work with leaders, so having that open look inside the deepest parts of the company was exciting, enticing, and empowering to me as a potential candidate. I knew they saw me as a talented asset to the company, not simply a woman of colour. When I felt aligned with MacroHealth, I was instantly more invested on a personal level that went beyond professional. The culture that I saw being intentionally fostered and organically cultivated was apparent.
A culture of trust
A big part of this culture has to do with trust. An environment with a high level of trust in their employees is essential to feeling productive, leaned-in, and motivated to maintain that trust. Implicit in trust is respect, another intangible benefit that draws and keeps high calibre, high performing, highly invested employees. I’ve never worked somewhere where trust was so evident, and that has to do in part with being results-driven.
A culture of empowerment is a win-win
Organizations that truly empower their employees never have to look too hard for talent, because their most precious commodities – their employees are their best marketers. In the five years since we launched, much has changed in terms of opportunities for Canadians, and increasingly, immigrants such as myself. The landscape has changed, but organizations with a culture of empowerment will win the competition for top tech talent.
Whether a full return to office happens or we continue to mitigate the pandemic partially or fully remotely, finding ways to motivate ourselves and each other to keep pushing to deliver the best we can in our industry will always be a pillar for success. Working within a culture imbued with respect, diversity, and inclusion yields a very high sense of personal ownership and engagement at every level, and that isn’t just great for morale, it’s great for business.
Sahar Kanani is the Senior Director of Programming at MacroHealth.