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:
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.
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.
We all know famous quote by Steve Jobs about hiring best people and letting them tell you what to do not the vice versa. This fully applies to how to motivate tech teams. Instead of dictating them what to do establish an environment and framework, where employees will be as close to the issue and possible. Meanwhile provide them authority and flexibility in finding the best solutions to the tasks they were assigned, including choosing best tools to tackle the task.
Best way to stay off micro management is to follow the famous saying about bringing solutions, not problems. Practice with the team the following rule. Before rising a problem, think of at least one solution to it and bring them to discussion. This will motivate tech team to take responsibility and leadership. They will think over the issues and generate more ideas for solutions. Always appreciate this effort by the team, even in case you don’t use their proposed solution.
No employee likes to remain as nameless part of machine. Having opportunity of giving and getting feedback in a cycle motivates people and make them feel valued. Allow team members to contribute ideas and suggestions, create opportunity for peer-to-peer and organization-to-employee gratitude. You’ll see how connection within the team strengthens.
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Hope these insights on how to motivate tech team were useful. Do you have any ideas or best practice for tech team motivation? Feel free to share and stay tuned for more motivational ideas coming in our blog.
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