A talented tech team is the heart and soul of many modern companies. Whether they build the company’s actual consumer-facing products or simply keep the internal technology systems running, this department is often the go-to for troubleshooting and problem-solving at all levels of the business.
That’s why it’s so important to go the extra mile to keep your tech staff happy and motivated. By doing this, you’re giving yourself the best chance of retaining top talent in a competitive job market.
Below, nine members of Forbes Technology Council share their best tips for maintaining motivation among your tech team members.
1. Actively Seek Diverse Views
The best way to keep teams is to involve, engage and get buy-in of team members by doing two things: One, demonstrate the importance of their roles in the team and the company, and two, get enough useful data and diverse views to assist in the decision process. Team members feel valued when their views are considered, regardless of the ultimate final decision. – Unathi Mtya, Grindrod Bank
2. Consider Each Team Member’s Individual Personality And Motivators
It depends on the individual, and it’s important for the leader to understand what motivates their team members and what keeps them happy. I use personality tests like Myers-Briggs, NERIS Analytics, etc. to help me understand what may motivate my team members, and we use the results as a team to know how to work together more effectively. Some individuals may like public recognition, some may just like a quick personal note from a superior and some may want the next big challenge as their reward. A team that understands how best to mesh based on understanding the collective strengths and weakness helps to foster an effective and happy team. – David Torres, Feedme Inc.
3. Align Their Interests With The Company’s
The most important thing to consider is that the tech team’s interests are aligned with the company’s interests. Make sure there are minimal impediments to their work. That can sometimes be achieved by decentralized control and self-organized teams. – Robert Weissgraeber, AX Semantics
4. Give Them Challenging Projects
By providing projects to the team that require creative thought, a real sense of purpose and buy-in tends to promulgate quickly and creates excitement across the team. That, coupled with promoting innovative thought, creates an environment where individual ideas are taken seriously and opinions are valued in the overall design process. Inclusive team environments keep people engaged. In a rapidly-evolving career field such as security technologies, it is vitally important to present challenging tasks that reinforce agility in collaborative group settings. People will show you their strengths when given the chance. Leading in this manner brings all the expertise of the team to bear on complex problems. Challenging problems and open work environments will prove beneficial with keeping the team enthusiastic and engaged. – Bill Edwards, Thornton Tomasetti
5. Offer Them A Voice In Important Discussions
Enable them to participate and feel heard in the important discussions. Give them respect both for their professional and private lives. Invest in the culture of the team and the spirit of having fun while doing great things. – Thomas Caldwell, Techniche
6. Let Them Solve Meaningful Problems In The Ways They See Fit
There are three main ingredients for motivating a tech team. First, the problem has to be real; it has to be hard and stimulating. Secondly, the team must have the freedom to solve it using the tools and processes that they believe are best suited for it. Nothing is more important to them than freedom using best-of-breed tools. Lastly, the problem they are solving needs to have a higher meaning. In today’s hyper-competitive world for talent, nothing keeps a tech team focused on a problem more than knowing that what they are solving is making a real difference in the world. – Stuart Bailey, ModelOp
7. Promote A Startup-Like Culture
Empower them with the right set of tools, experiences and environment that promotes a startup-like culture, and help them navigate past the corporate culture that may inhibit their abilities. Embracing or learning about an area that is outside of your core will motivate teams and bring a new perspective. Bring your best ideas, regardless of how far-fetched it may seem. Carve some time out to help people. I guarantee that you will learn something new that you did not know about them or about yourself and bring you a smile while doing it! – Kumar Srinivas, NTT DATA
8. Encourage Boundary-Pushing
Hire the best and allow them to innovate. Encourage them to push the finite boundaries of what is possible. Interesting tech is what keeps the best around. Free lunches and snacks helps as well. – Benny Buller, Velo3D
9. Enable Them To Reach New Heights With Difficult Tasks
Assign them tasks and challenges that are so difficult to accomplish that they are forced to think out-of-the-box. Creating high thresholds not only helps our team reach new heights, but the process of learning to be comfortable with an uncomfortable mission has consistently made our team feel like superheroes! – Steven Khuong, Curacubby Inc.