Do you know what your developers are worrying about? What keeps them awake at night? Are they looking round for another job, quietly, right under your nose? How satisfied are they really with management? What about their salaries – still OK?
For some managers it is a challenge to get a true picture of what developers are thinking. How do they want to move forwards? Are they comfortable where they are? Are you making the most of their talents and do they picture themselves continuing to grow with the organisation? In this blog we will happily share our knowledge on this subject. Plus some interesting research numbers from an important report from Techleap…
The IT world is continuously changing and the next development follows the last at lightning speed. What does that mean for the developers in your team? From our own developers, we get the feedback that these are the main things they find important: broadening and developing their expertise, and keeping up to date with new technologies. An average developer knows only too well that not keeping up with these rapidly leads to falling behind in the area of a specific language or technology. While one person may want to see themselves as a tech leader, others see themselves as technology experts. Public speaking is not usually a part of this. What every developer is focussed on is the development of their career path. They are always on the lookout for the next opportunity to appear. And for you, as an employer, that is an important factor. Especially right now when there are plenty of offers. The market is wide open for professionals with good computer skills.
Always remain in touch and keep evaluating what works best to help your developers grow. Put yourself in their shoes and help them move forwards by thinking how they see things. For example, by discussing which skill, language or technology will move your developers furthest forward in their career. Also look like them at where there is most demand, both within your company and in the market as a whole. The latter means making yourself vulnerable. But it is the only way to give your developers the space that they need to grow. It is by seeking to give both parties the (personal) space that they need to grow that you keep relationships honest and strong.
A recent report published by Techleap on the status of software development in The Netherlands included the following:
We can well imagine that what we have said above and the facts from the report may seem logical to you, and you recognise them. Or perhaps you are surprised by what is going on inside your developers’ heads. Meanwhile, you are probably wondering how you can kick off a real dialogue with these colleagues. Colleagues who already may appear rather introverted and don’t readily speak their minds. We have found, including with our own developers, that what matters most is to create a relationship of trust. Recognise that certain feelings are involved, show that you are aware of this. Be prepared to be a good listener. Including absorbing things that are not spoken but are communicated. If a colleague is indeed thinking about leaving the company, what is the underlying reason for this? Is the work challenging enough? Does the employee have enough influence on the end result? Are they working with the latest technologies? Can you offer room for growth? For example, by learning a new programming language? Every small step you take can directly improve staff retention.
And look at it this way: if your developer is worrying about his/her future, that takes up space in their mind. Space that is filled with noise. Noise interrupts concentration. How can you improve mental capacity? By initiating the discussion: with no strings, with an open mind.
Contact us, with no obligation at all, to discuss your ideas. We work closely with our developers every day. Investing in the growth of our teams and in the people as individuals seems to us to be the foundation for success. Which we are pleased to help with.
Source: Techleap, 2021 Netherlands Report, State of the Software Developer Nation