How to Motivate Your Software Engineers

While you can use a strong salary and solid benefits package to attract great software engineering candidates, compensation alone won’t motivate your employees over the long term. Instead, skilled professionals often examine a company’s culture and the presence (or lack) of intrinsic motivators when deciding whether to stick around.

By understanding what your software engineers need, you can increase retention and productivity. If you aren’t sure where to start, here are a few tips.

Listen First

There isn’t a magic wand for motivation. A single option may be perfect for one software engineer but won’t speak to another. For example, one employee may be seeking out opportunities to gain new skills while another wants more time to focus on coding instead of having to spend so much time in meetings.

You won’t be able to figure out how to motivate your software engineers if you don’t listen to them. Have one-on-one conversations to discover their goals and professional aspirations. Learn about their preferences, including their most and least favorite tasks. That way, when you need to motivate a specific employee, you’ll know what speaks to them.

Offer Professional Development Opportunities

The technology world changes quickly, and many software engineers like to keep pace. However, not all of them have the time or money to pursue additional training on their own.

By providing professional development opportunities, you are giving your staff opportunities. Not only do they get to acquire new skills, they also get to explore exciting technologies. Consider what training may benefit your software engineers and find ways to provide it. Whether it is through an online platform, formal classes, tuition reimbursement programs or mentorship opportunities, there are approaches that can work for nearly any company.

Focus on Recognition

Software engineers’ work is often in the background. While it requires a significant amount of time and skill to do what they do, most people don’t actually see the results. Your everyday user isn’t looking at the code, so they don’t understand what it took to make a solution work. That’s why recognition from management is so important.

Even if your software engineers tend to be introverts, that doesn’t mean they don’t like being acknowledged. While avoiding a public announcement may be wise, that doesn’t mean you should forgo expressing your appreciation entirely.

If you have a software engineer who excels on a project or has an accomplishment, let them know you see their efforts and express your gratitude for their contributions. Even a simple “thank you” can go a long way when it comes to building a positive workplace culture, so don’t neglect the power of small gestures when you want to recognize your team.

By following the tips above, you can motivate your software engineers, allowing them to be more productive while simultaneously improving retention. If you would like to hear more about motivation in the workplace, the professionals at The Squires Group can help. Contact us to speak with one of our experienced team members today and see how our workplace expertise can benefit you.

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