POST WRITTEN BY
Expert Panel, Forbes Technology Council
Successful CIOs, CTOs & executives from Forbes Technology Council offer firsthand insights on tech & business.
Tech teams make up one of the more often overlooked departments of a business, yet they are critical to the company's functionality and growth. Managers from other departments may not even know tech teams are around. Yet if they were to disappear, even temporarily, it's very likely that some of the most basic functions of the business would be compromised, not to mention the impact this would have on the development of new products, features or functions.
Just like any other employee, tech team members need to be motivated and happy on the job in order to perform to their best ability. Employees who feel motivated are not only more productive, but are also more efficient and forward-thinking than those who see the job simply as a chore.
Below, seven members of Forbes Technology Council explore how a business could motivate and satisfy its tech teams. Here is what they advise:
1. Make Sure They Know Their Importance
Dig in with them and learn how they work. Use their communications mechanisms and participate in daily stand-ups. When they hit a critical milestone, reward them. Give them opportunities for publicity if they desire, and make sure they are integrated into strategic business planning to ensure they know how important they are to the overarching vision. - Tom Albert, Measured Risk Inc.
2. Convey The Right Mission And Vision
The basis is the right mission and vision. As we're in the field of artificial intelligence, this might be even more important than in other sectors. AI has the potential to kill many jobs but used in the right way, it can augment humans with superpowers. Besides the mission-critical vision and purpose, I believe in giving tech people as much freedom as possible, to hire the best and let them be successful. - Marc Vontobel, Starmind
3. Understand Their Career Goals And Help Them Grow
People are our assets. Continuous engagement with the team is key, and understanding their career aspirations and goals is important to enabling them to feel that the company is giving them a platform to grow. Every team member is an entrepreneur in their heart and that is what we need to identify. That’s my mantra for success. - Bhavna Juneja, Infinity, a Stamford Technology Company
4. Let Them Use Their Skills To Solve Problems
I find that my teams are motivated and energized when I can layout objectives, explain their role in achieving those objectives, and remove roadblocks to let them do the great things they can do. Most technology people want to solve problems and use their skills. I let them do that. - BJ Vander Linden, Larry H. Miller Sports & Entertainment
5. Treat Them Like Internal Customers
Measure your technical team on metrics they can improve on, create a friendly competitive environment and give them time to step away when needed. In the office, we have ping pong, bags and other games they can play to break up the day. Treating employees like internal customers will create a much happier employee who will deliver better service to our customers. - Edward Lennon, Votacall, Inc.
6. Provide The Right Kinds Of Challenges
We focus more on motivated and engaged instead of happy. We believe that for us to get the best out of our folks, we need to rightsize the challenges they are going to overcome, as well as provide challenges that are going to help them develop professionally. - Patrick Emmons, DragonSpears, Inc.
7. Enable An Inquisitive, Learning Culture
First, help them understand the company's or group's vision and show them what an integral part they are to achieving it. Second, provide them with interesting problems to work in addition to their day-today-day activities, as well as autonomy and a sense of ownership for the team to execute and thrive. Third, enable a data or consumer-centric decision-making culture, giving people room to disagree or propose alternative strategies. Finally, make sure your culture is always inquisitive and open to learning, keeping up with trends, and figuring out methods to incorporate this into their groups. - Brian Sathianathan, Iterate.ai