Photo by pdam2
I’ve been to lots of management trainings, each new company feels the urge to send me to a several days workshop. One of the topics in each of those workshops is employee motivation and satisfaction.
But after years I reckoned developers do not need to be motitvated, they are motivated when they start working – otherwise you wouldn’t have hired them, would you? They are actively demotivated. Companies need to stop demotivating them. The Harvard Management Update writes:
Most companies have it all wrong. They don’t have to motivate their employees. They have to stop demotivating them. The great majority of employees are quite enthusiastic when they start a new job. But in about 85 percent of companies, our research finds, employees’ morale sharply declines after their first six monthsâ€”and continues to deteriorate for years afterward.
On to job satisfaction which is linked to motivation. The economy is recovering, I get more calls from head hunters. Head hunters are the angst of many IT-managers, because you lose your best to them. Losing a good developer is intrinsically connected to developer statisfaction and motivation. Motivated developers are satisfied. Satisfied developers won’t go with head hunters.
There are four stages of developer – and employee – satisfaction:
- Satisfied and motivated
- Passive, undecided
- Passive, will react to headhunters and good offers
- Activly seeks a new position
Satisfaction levels can easily fall, there are a myriad of reasons. Maybe the biggest reason being demotivated at your job. If your company demotivates developers, with
- Technical reasons like no recent hardware, inadequate tools and a frustrating enviroment. I’ve written about those in 7 Bad Signs not to Work for a Software Company or Startup
- Micro-Management and drowning creativity
- Not listening to them
- From the above quoted article in the Harvard Business Update:
Excessive levels of required approvals, endless paperwork, insufficient training, failure to communicate, infrequent delegation of authority, and a lack of a credible vision contribute to employees’ frustration.
no wonder satisfaction goes out of the door. Sometimes those 4 levels of satisfaction can be seen in public and are general phases in a company live. Everyone moving to Google (1). Then people who get snatched from Yahoo by Google (3). Then people are leaving (4). Amazon has lots of ex-amazoners, people have been leaving Google, and of course Yahoo.
As a developer, in which stage are you? As a manager you should have a clear understanding of the stages in your company and in which one your developers are. Misunderstanding employee satisfaction makes your company vulnerable to head hunters. Stop demotivating!