In a world where STEM skills are in short supply and many global tech firms are struggling to find top talent, keeping employees happy has never been more important. But incentives of old - including competitive salaries - aren't cutting it any more, with many people looking for a job that has a purpose beyond getting paid.
Employees with the desire to work in a socially-conscious environment are looking to their employers to stand up for various environmental, political and ethical causes. And the organisations themselves are listening, avoiding any potential for staff to move on to another company that will sit up and take notice.
Examples of employee activism come from all walks of so-called Big Tech. Google employees are perhaps the most prolific, walking out to protest issues from sexual harassment to low wages, even the company's work with the Pentagon. The latter resignations ultimately resulted in Google passing on a $10 Billion cloud contract with the Pentagon.
Similarly, Salesforce and Microsoft have both seen employees campaign against relationships with the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, with Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff coming out to comment publicly on the issue.
Operating a mission-driven company is vital in a world where work is about more than just a job. It's key to employee retention, attracting talent and driving positive public opinion.
But ultimately, given the huge amount of influence enjoyed by tech companies around the world, it's a significant opportunity to drive positive change in today's unsettled and often volatile socio-political climate.
Employee activism is nothing new; businesses in practically every sector have long had to contend with trade unions and their representatives. It is, however, notable that all of these recent examples have come from Silicon Valley where the tech firms have typically taken to a different approach to labour organisation. Rank and file rebellion has been brewing in Big Tech for years, and now it’s coming to a head; business leaders ought to take notice.