Secret Sauce… it’s an unusual name for an article about the business, but there’s nothing unusual about the idea behind it. The concept is simple enough – we all know that some companies are more successful than others and why they succeed in ways that other businesses don’t. We also understand that these successes aren’t always obvious to outsiders or even insiders.
So what if you could find out how those companies do things differently? What if you could learn from their success so that your company can be a little bit better at doing what makes them tick? That would make sense, wouldn’t it? Well, to help you in your endless endeavor to improve yourself as well as your organization, here are ten secrets that top tech companies use to get ahead:
12 Secret Sauce Behind Some of the Top Tech Companies
What makes the companies like Apple, Google, and Facebook stand out from the rest? It’s not just one thing, but rather a several things that these top tech companies do to help create their products and services that make them so successful. Here are just some of the ingredients that these top tech companies put into their secret sauce that you can use to help propel your company into stardom too!
While companies like Google and Facebook are widely recognized for their innovative products, they’re not necessarily seen as innovators in management. As it turns out, their innovation extends beyond technology—and into the organizational structure.
For example, to encourage collaboration among employees at all levels (not just senior executives), Google intentionally designs desks with no doors so that people can easily communicate face-to-face. And all meetings at Facebook take place in pods where participants sit around a table or on couches—no one ever stands up or walks around to make a point. These strategies aren’t revolutionary—but they do illustrate how leaders can use design thinking to manage their workforce more effectively.
Too many CEOs seem to think they’re supposed to do it all. In reality, though, you’re not taking time away from leading your company by delegating important tasks. In fact, you’re making better use of your time by freeing yourself up to focus on bigger-picture tasks that only you can handle.
And when your team members take on more responsibility, they develop a sense of confidence and a real stake in seeing your business succeed. So don’t be afraid to delegate—be smart about who you assign projects to and how you delegate those projects. That way, everyone wins!
The tech industry has long been criticized for being too white and male. Research shows that ethnically diverse teams are more creative, outperform their peers, and are better at solving problems.
If you’re looking to start a tech company or hire developers, it pays to keep an eye out for qualified women and minorities. Meetups are one way to help get more diverse talent involved in your organization. And don’t forget to check out organizations like Code2040 that provide programs, mentorships, hackathons, conferences, job opportunities—all designed to bolster diversity in Silicon Valley.
For most people, one of their biggest motivations to go above and beyond is because they believe their efforts will be rewarded. As simple as it sounds, your job is to identify these motivating factors for both you and your team members. Why do they want to achieve what they’re striving for? What are you offering that will allow them to achieve that goal?
It could be monetary rewards or frequent employee recognition programs. Whatever you decide, put something in place, so your employees know what actions will earn them perks or prizes. If a potential new hire finds out that there aren’t any benefits for hard work, then your organization may have already lost a good candidate.
A key difference between most successful technology companies and startups that fail is strong leadership. A leader with a solid vision, understanding of people and markets, and knowledge of market trends will help build a strong company that stands a good chance at winning in its market. If you’re thinking about starting your own business, find yourself a role model; find someone who is starting something similar to what you want to do or has done it before. The more prepared you are for success, the higher your chances are for succeeding right out of the gate.
Flexible and Supportive Environment:
A tech company that wants to keep its employees happy should offer a flexible work environment. With multiple generations working in one office, employers should realize that there are plenty of differences between these groups.
The old adage work smarter, not harder should take center stage when you’re managing teams within your company. It’s important to allow these employees their time away from work, whether it be for family or personal reasons, while still keeping them productive at their jobs.
Transparency and Communication:
The best way to get people excited about your new idea or venture is by being transparent and communicating frequently. Everyone wants to feel like they’re part of something big, so be sure to share some inside information on what’s going on at your company with your team. Even better, find ways for them to contribute ideas on how you can be more successful.
Additionally, keep everyone in the loop when it comes to setbacks and roadblocks, rather than sugarcoating it for appearance’s sake. When employees feel like they are truly invested in an organization’s success, they won’t run out when things get tough—in fact, they will likely run towards any challenge with tenacity!
High Integrity and Trust:
If you want to be successful, you have to be high integrity and trust. This is something that is expected in almost any company, but it is especially true for a small business. Your staff will have to work with you every day, and that means that they have to trust that you will keep your word and that you’ll do what you say you’re going to do. They will also have to trust that they can rely on you, even when they’re wrong.
It’s vital that your employees are free to express their ideas and thoughts to you. If you’re constantly dismissing those ideas and pushing the team in a certain direction, your employees will eventually quit. Take note of the things your team members say in your meetings or other communication that seems out of the ordinary. When you do encounter resistance, remember that your employees want to be a part of something exciting. Make them feel like their voice matters, even if their idea isn’t perfect. The most successful startups don’t just make good products; they make amazing products. It’s important that you create a culture that reflects those core values.
People don’t always want to come to work every day, but when they do, they want to be inspired by the environment. It’s simple, but it’s true. Good companies have well-designed, inspiring environments that motivate employees to succeed. Most employees will be happy if their environment is welcoming and inspiring, but it’s also important that your workplace be safe and professional.
Don’t skimp on your workplace’s security, and be sure to train your team members on how to conduct themselves in a respectful and appropriate way in every situation. This isn’t the same as micromanaging and being overbearing, but it’s important that you provide the training that your employees need to be successful. If your workplace doesn’t inspire your team, they’ll likely get that inspiration somewhere else. The best companies inspire.
This is just what it sounds like. It’s a company that knows what its numbers say but also actively measures and uses those numbers to guide decision-making. They track progress every step of the way and make decisions based on real results. Companies that rely solely on gut and hunches will often end up with unhappy employees who think they’re not valued. If you’re in a company that seems like it has no idea what it’s doing, find out why. It’s not because they don’t care; it’s because they don’t know.
You should find out if they’re tracking and using metrics and data to make decisions and measure progress. Companies that have real data to guide them will often see improved morale and more talented employees. A lot of businesses want to be data-driven. Just know that real data isn’t used to manipulate and misinform employees.
The only way a business is going to thrive is if it has customers. Duh. The best way to make sure your company keeps customers is to keep the customer at the center of everything you do. Use customer feedback and test your products on them, and make decisions based on customer feedback.
Never make assumptions about how your products should be designed just because you think you know what would work best for your customers (because you don’t). Listen to your customers, and your company will flourish.
Because the Internet is constantly changing, companies that don’t experiment and change their models are often left behind. Unfortunately, this leaves many companies with a fear of trying new things or trying new things on a large scale. It can be difficult to try new things, to be prepared for failure but still move forward, but it’s also the quickest way to succeed at innovation.
Experimentation doesn’t mean reinventing the wheel, though; it means listening to customers and taking a step back to see if your attempts to innovate are also helping your customers succeed. Make sure your ideas aren’t just innovation for innovation’s sake—they’re innovations that serve a purpose. A successful tech company often experiments and changes its model frequently.
Some tech companies succeed quickly, and others may take some time to gain traction. In any case, the principles for business success remain the same. Management, cultural diversity and inclusion, real rewards, strong leadership, support and flexibility, transparency, trust, an inspiring environment, being data-driven, and being customer-oriented are all of the secret sauces that will help unlock the mysteries of success at your organization.
Written by Johnathan Abram