5 ways to motivate tech teams

March 26, 2019

How to motivate tech team is probably one of those headaches of tech HRs face daily. High motivation, engagement level and happiness of tech teams are key to success, as low morale kills creativity and results in poor performance.

People are different and each of us has different motivators. What motivates tech team at one company will not necessarily work for another. What works for non-technical staff, may not work for motivating technical team. Moreover, our motivating factors change with time, so you cannot rely on a single motivational tool to increase your team’s productivity.

Tech team usually consists of key personnel, as technical aspects gets deeper integration with core of any business. Unlike others, tech teams are often highly qualified and need something more than just a high salary and benefits. Daniel Pink in his book “Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us” emphasizes that in order to retain staff in long term perspective you need to build a culture of both intrinsic and extrinsic motivators. Instead of looking for motivational techniques, we’d propose building an environment, motivating different people in different ways.

Here we’ve collected 5 tips on how to motivate tech team:

Rewarding the Results

All tech projects, like many other jobs out there, have ups and downs. Make sure you reward the work and real results, not just the hours they sit by the computers. Often technical staff is the one that leaves the office late at night, due to the specifics of tech job, like being present on project launch and help out, when project is on fire. Many IT specialists work from home on weekends and late nights or dropping in to the office on weekends to check that the software or hardware is up and running. These are big and small efforts that contribute to project success and evaluating results once a year would not be motivating.

Tangible Metrics for Regular Performance Reviews

Dan Pannel from WMtek shared an interesting approach to increasing employee satisfaction. They focused on key metrics during daily performance meetings and highlighted outstanding performances with gift cards. Alignment of daily tasks and results with monthly goals along with appreciation of best performance creates unique chemistry and drives team motivation forward.

If daily performance checks are not enough and the team doesn't know how to act systematically without putting too much pressure on employees, you can create OKR goals for them. An HRM system allows you to do this as transparently as possible so that everyone can contribute to the common goal without stress and understand their contribution.