Manage developers is not an easy task, and its really hard to find a good manager this days.
And the market is really overloaded with recruiters that will do EVERYTHING then can and even what they can’t to get your best developer out to another company, and sometimes they don’t even need to offer more money, are you wondering why??
Is hard is to hire good people but is even harder is to keep them on the job. Today’s companies and big brands are trying to hire developers for a permanent role for YEARS and they can’t find anyone good, I mean, good developers are not even applying for the roles. :O
Do you wonder why? I will tell you this, from the point of view of a Developer, what are the worst things you can do to your good people and how to avoid having your good people packing…
Believe me or not, All that’s required is a new perspective and some effort on the manager’s part.
1. Recognize Contributions and Reward Good Work
Its easy to underestimate the power of the high five, or the thank you very much, or the “great job mate, I’m really proud of working with you”. Top performers are intrinsically motivated, but when you work hard, what you really want may be just a “Well done mate, I really like working with you”. Everyone likes cheering, especially those who work hard and give all in.
Managers should communicate with their people to find out what makes them feel good and then to reward them for a job well done.
BUT Make sure you recognize the right people, recognize the bad people instead of the good ones, is a SERIOUS mistake.
2. Care about your Employee
Almost everyone that I know will instantaneously leave their jobs because of their relationship with their management. Smart companies make sure that managers knows how to be HUMANS and balance professional life with personal life. I mean, “take that grumpy face out and wear some smile for god sake”.
Celebrate an employee’s success, empathize with those going through hard times, managers who fail to care will always have high turnover rates. People will leave. It’s impossible to work for someone eight-plus hours a day and be asked to stay extra or over the weekend when your boss is an grumpy cat.
3. Don’t overwork People
I know, is really tempting to work your best people hard. Don’t fall into this trap.
A Stanford research shows that productivity declines sharply when the workweek exceeds 50 hours, and productivity drops off so much after 55 hours that you don’t get anything out of working more.
Overworking good employees is easy to do, but it just makes them feel as if they’re being punished for great performance and is counterproductive. Just think, If you want people to work harder, you need to give something back, increase their status, or pay rise. Nobody will stay if their job suffocates them. Get that best developer and give him a raise, a promotion or a title-changes. If you simply increase workload because people are talented, without changing a thing, they will leave you, there are TONS of recruitment agencies hunting people down, and for a developer to move a job this days is as easy as going out for a beer.
4. Honor your word.
Making promises to people is dangerous when you don’t mean it. If you say something you better do it. Or don’t say a word. Otherwise you may be watching your good developer walking out the door. Sad but true. Instead, if you uphold a commitment, you grow in respect and you prove yourself to be trustworthy and honorable. But when you disregard your commitment is just disrespectful. After all, if the boss doesn’t honor his or her commitments, why should I ?
“A leader leads by example, not by force.” Sun Tzu.
5. Hire a bad developer / someone who don’t work hard
If you are working in an environment where you are the smartest person, you are in the wrong company. I mean, everyone knows it.
Good and hard-working professionals want to work with like-minded professionals. When managers don’t do the hard work of hiring good people, it’s hell-like for those who stuck working alongside them. Promoting the wrong people is even worse. It’s a massive insult. No wonder it makes good people leave.
6. Let People Pursue Their Dreams
Talented employees are passionate, just like evangelists. Providing opportunities for them to pursue their passions improves their productivity and satisfaction. Its easy to think as a bad manager and force people to work within a little box, fearing that productivity will decline if they let people expand their focus and pursue their passions.
This fear is just not true, studies show that people who are able to pursue their passions at work experience flow, a euphoric state of mind that is five times more productive than those who don’t pursue their dreams. So, dream on with your developers, let them fly and give them guidance!
7. Help them to Develop new Skills
The most talented employees want to develop new skills, so that they can take up new challenges, your job as a Manager is to keep it coming, get them exiting things to do, If you don’t, your best people will grow bored and leave, believe me.
What is most impressive about this topic is: When I ask a manager their inattention to employees, I often hear the excuse, using words such as “trust,” “autonomy,” and “empowerment.” This is bullshit. Good managers manage, no matter how talented the employee. Pay attention on what people are working on be constantly listening and PLEASE give feedback. Management may have a beginning, but it certainly has no end. When you have a talented employee, it’s up to you to keep him exited and helping him to improve & expand their skill set.
8. Never fail to Engage improvements
The most talented employees seek to improve everything they see or work with. Promote night-hacking’s, challenges, games, algorithms and rewards. If you take away their ability to change and improve things because you’re not comfortable with it ? this makes them hate their jobs, really do. Failing to catch up on this not only limits them, it limits you.
9. Never fail to challenge people with their skills
Great managers challenge, they push but not too much. Instead of setting mundane, incremental goals, play withy lofty goals that push people out of their comfort zones. You have to do everything in your power to help them succeed. When talented and intelligent people find themselves doing things that are too easy or boring, they seek other jobs and they will walk out that door.
I hope this may help you to avoid crying over spilt milk, take of that grumpy face, start smiling, learn something technical, get closer to your developers, learn, go and do things with them, be part of the team and you will be rewarded with excellent professionals, avoid contact, behave as an asshole and you will be left with the as-slickers, the decision is up to you.
“Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win.” Sun Tzu