What will help CEOs motivate tech people to stay on in the company?


In this article, we will share the ways to keep top talent motivated to carry on working for your company as long as possible, namely, how to motivate employees through needs for:
Why are we lacking tech specialists?
We’ve already come to the point when it feels like you're in a battle when it comes to attracting top-notch tech professionals. According to Gartner study in early March 2022, only 29.1% of IT workers intend to stay with their current employer for the long run. This figure is significantly lower in Australia and New Zealand at 23.6%, Asia Pacific at 19.6% and Latin America at 26.9%. Even in best-performing Europe, only 4 out of 10 IT workers have high intentions to remain in their permanent jobs in the future.
Seems like talent shortage should be filled by the current trend for tech professions and numerous promising online courses where people can turn into a Junior-level specialist within several months. However, there is more to it than meets the eye.
On the one hand, the quantity of tech specialists in the market who are suitable for low-skilled jobs, is rising. On the other hand, employees lacking significant training are not capable of performing complex tasks and that compounds Middle and Senior specialists’ shortage.
Besides, this “tech trend” has gone notorious as many people have turned their heads to this industry simply for financial reasons without any keen interest in this direction. And this type of employees are the most challenging to encourage for proper work.

Practically, it is not all that bad. By developing an effective motivation system for employees, you will immensely raise the hiring game and can attract top talents that will be eager to stay with your company for years and years.
Let’s delve into this matter from the light of theory. There are several theories regarding the origin of motivation and its drivers (e.g. Maslow's hierarchy of needs) but we would like to refer to McClelland's Human Motivation Theory.
According to the theory, every person has one of three main driving motivators:
  • the needs for achievement;
  • the needs for affiliation;
  • the needs for power.

Hereafter, we will look into each need and explain how you can assist your employees to cater to each of them.
  • Before thinking through non-financial incentives, it is crucial to conduct competitors analysis and make sure that you are offering market value salaries for your employees.
Need for achievement
For employees, it is not only significant to simply fulfill the tasks and have their salary, but also to constantly make progress, have various opportunities to advance their career and share their expertise as an expert.

  • How to motivate employees using achievement needs?
Conduct a Performance Review
Implement and develop Performance Review and run it twice a year. This is a very useful motivational tool, especially if you are creating it not simply to observe the formalities. For employers, one of the essential duties regarding their staff is to highlight the clear and transparent path of growth in their career with the resources of the company. At Gitmax, we deliver performance reviews for our techies every quarter to keep the track of their success and advancement so we can pick the most suitable teams for our clients’ outsourcing projects.
If you own a small sized company, the review process would most likely be less formal as the review will not be strictly binding to the grade of each position.

In this case, you may ask your employees the following questions:
Think of the last six months in the company - how productive and effective was it? (here we can assess how adequate an employee evaluates his/her performance).
What challenging tasks have you faced and successfully solved within the last six months? (even in everyday routine there is a room for tasks and moments worth your while and it is vital for employee to be able to notice and highlight them).
Were there any obstacles or fails you've faced during that period of time? (also a crucial question as we all know that mistakes are common, and we all should know how to notice them, accept them and learn from them).
What tasks would you be most excited about for your growth in the upcoming six months? (this question will make a person come up with ideas about his or her career advancement in your company).

How can our company assist in your career development? 

Is there anything about some challenges or other matters that you would like to air during the review?
In the middle-sized and big companies, it is a common practice to establish a job grading system, which turns the performance review into discussing both employee’s future plans in general and company plans for regrading.

Suggest your employees joining a meetup
or a conference
For techies, it is vital not only to gain knowledge but also to share it with others by contributing their expertise.
If you own a small company, you are least likely to possess a devrel specialist (developers relations manager). From small beginnings come great things - invite some employees to participate in a small (perhaps, regional) meetup where they can share their knowledge, find like-minded colleagues and simply have a good time in a professional work-related environment. Take on the organizational issues and think of inviting a specialist to help with all the preparation.
If your budget is large enough, you should definitely take part in major conferences with your own stands and presentations.

All of these activities will contribute to your company’s brand image. Another great benefit is showing both your employees and potential candidates that the company is ready to invest time and money into personal brands of its employees.
Need for affiliation
It is a term which concerns establishing, maintaining, and restoring positive relationships with other people. In other words, it is a person's need to feel a sense of involvement and "belonging" within a social group. In the professional field, the need for affiliation is manifested in the desire to be part of a healthy corporate culture and professional community.

  • How to motivate employees using achievement needs?
Random coffee
For the last 2 years due to pandemic, most tech specialists have been working in distributed teams from different cities and countries. However, it does not imply that employees do not feel the need to communicate more closely with colleagues.

Think of organizing regular team meetings in the format of having random coffee. You can look at ready-to-use solutions or write your own bot that will divide people into small groups, generate topics for conversation in case of some struggles, and remind the members of time for a call.
This activity will assist colleagues in breaking the wall of work-related conversations which depersonalized fellow colleagues. At these 15-20 minutes calls, people may find out about various hobbies or interests of others, which, for instance, will turn an abstract “Andy the Developer” who only knows how to code into an enthusiastic diver, traveler, and an excellent cook as well.
Performing at in-house events
It is almost the same practice with the need for achievements, however, with one but. If it is quite an effort to convince an employee to give a public speech in front of an unfamiliar audience, offer him to speak in front of his or her colleagues first.

You can run mini-meetups every two weeks where everyone can bring up a topic and talk about it with a small presentation. This will strengthen the ties between the colleagues and gather the material for other meetups and conferences.
Need for power
According to McClelland’s theory, there are two types of power in this need: the power for the sake of power or power for the sake of achievements.

While the first type is destructive, the second one will give your company perfectly motivated Team Leads (and if you are currently looking for such Team Leads or other motivated techies, our recruiters have profound knowledge how to seek for them and recruit them - just hit us up with a button down below the article).

  • How to motivate employees using power needs?
  • If your team is not that big, you can offer mentoring newcomers at the Performance Review and find out how exciting it can be for an employee. If you notice a positive response, you may have a candidate for a team lead candidate pool in front of you.
  • If the number of employees is sufficient, most likely, they are divided into smaller teams for more transparent management. This gives an opportunity for some employees to take a foray in managing small sub teams.
  • In some cases, it makes sense to divide the team management into a team lead and a tech lead. Perhaps, there are employees who are not interested in managing people, but they are great at building processes, and by that they satisfy their needs for power.
There are also two core points that we cannot but mention for the sake of tangible motivation - financial incentives and working hours.
  • Money
    It goes without saying that the financial part is one of the main aspects of motivation for anyone. If you offer a qualified developer a good salary and the opportunity to grow financially, it will be one of the main incentives for their quality work.

    However, it is impossible to raise wages endlessly. Besides, any bonuses, if they are not comparable with the salary size, sooner or later become indifferent. It makes tech workers shift their “pleasure focus” to the process itself. A programmer enjoys solving a complex problem, a tester enjoys a beautifully written test case, while a designer enjoys pixel-by-pixel rendering.
  • Flexible working hours
    One of the least things tech workers put in favour is restrictions. If you force them to work strictly from eight to five - you will put them out of their comfort zone. If there is a possibility for you, try to be flexible with employees by finding out what working hours fit them most. It can be either an “open-leave” schedule or hybrid work from home.

    One day a techie can feel like nothing codes, however, tomorrow he or she will finish the task in three hours (of course, meeting the deadlines). Or there’s a brilliant idea coming to their mind at 2 am and how can we say no? In the end, it is all about the result.
Let’s sum it up
To motivate tech professionals to continue working in the company apart from tangible incentives, get them beyond their current capabilities, help them develop their unique skills and advance in their careers. Encourage their initiatives and create new formats for interaction and communication (e.g., random coffee) that will allow you to create a more friendly corporate culture that you would like to stay in for a long time.

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