#TechnicallyBetter: What really motivates tech teams
To attract and retain top talent, hone your approach with these strategies.
In a hot job market, securing the best talent for your tech team is about so much more than just getting them through the door. You’ll want to offer an environment where people can thrive, enticing the right candidates and keeping them engaged. While there’s no one-size-fits-all, there are a few general steps you can take. Read on for some of the top motivators for technical teams today.
Communicate your vision
Sharing a clear, inspiring purpose is imperative to motivate any team. Being as open and transparent as possible has multiple benefits – if you can get people on board with and excited by your vision, it will help them set goals aligned to your business’s needs. As a result, they’ll come to work motivated each day, boosting productivity and retention.
A big bugbear for technical teams can be a lack of understanding from business leaders. Spending time brushing up on the ins and outs of your company’s technological requirements can pay dividends in various ways, earning your team’s respect, helping you set realistic targets, and, more generally, keeping you ahead of the curve. That said, be humble – you’ve hired smart people for a reason, and if you don’t understand something, you’ll get a better response from being open to learning than pretending you know.
Trust the process
Closely aligned to understanding the work of tech professionals is trusting their processes. A lack of know-how can create unrealistic expectations and unhappiness on both sides. The best approach is to be guided by your team on what’s possible and how long projects will take, arming them with the resources needed to do their work well. Trust and autonomy are significant motivators for most people – offer them and watch your business prosper.
Could that meeting be an email? This question is crucial when dealing with your technical team, as is pinpointing the perfect frequency of catch-ups and when to schedule them. Of course, the amount of communication preferred will differ from person to person, with a junior recruit likely to want more face time and feedback than a senior tech professional. Technological projects are often complex and require deep work, so limiting distractions and having set check-ins that won’t disrupt your team’s days (first thing in the morning, for example) will help them complete tasks in the pipeline without delay.
The boom of hybrid and remote working is particularly pertinent to tech candidates. If you want to be competitive, offering flexible working conditions is a must. The nature of technical work is such that it can typically be done remotely, using tools like Teams, Slack, and other video and messaging platforms for meetings and collaboration. If you’re communicating well and have robust processes in place, letting your tech team work how it suits them should only improve outcomes.
Continuous learning is essential to success in tech. That’s why technical candidates seek companies that encourage growth and facilitate professional development. Support your tech employees with the time and resources for formal and informal education, and you’ll be rewarded with a high-performing, ultra-engaged team with up-to-date knowledge. Invest in your people, and they’ll invest in you, keeping your business sharp and competitive.
Create forums for feedback
Finding out what matters to the individuals in your team and considering how you can create meaning for them within your business will go a long way to keeping people focused, motivated and content. For example, where do they see their career going, what upskilling would they like, and how can you best support them on their path? Having these one-on-one discussions throughout the year, not just at review times, can help your employees feel heard, giving them a forum to discuss challenges, ideas and where they would like to grow. Showing genuine care, learning what makes each person tick and allowing room for play and creativity are essential to building a committed tech team.
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