So what does motivate tech people? Here are some thoughts by Daniele Beccari:
- regular shifts on different functional modules to learn different areas.
- regular shifts on different technologies (.net, database, ajax…) to increase learning.
- official certifications (MS).
- training modules.
- learning new skills from working with others (ex: good managers or other experts) is not often perceived as a benefit and needs highlighting.
- extension into soft skills: project management, presentation, personal work organization;
Recognition from peers
- feedback messages from peers and management: winning a new deal, positive comments from customers/partners or industry sources.
- direct exposure to peers and partners on projects.
- invitation to provide feedback on key decisions.
- regular one-to-one meetings with N+1.
- Feeling supported in case of problem/question – N+1 open door policy.
- exceptional one-to-one meetings with N+2 or N+3.
- “man of the release” – with care. Could de-motivate others, and be perceived as unserious, a-la McDonald.
- NEGATIVE: if nothing special happens after the person has done something special.
- official company representation at industry events, online forums, tech conferences, standardization bodies.
- company reputation as leader in technology/innovation.
- recognition as “subject matter expert” on specific topics.
- patent filing as inventor.
- NEGATIVE: not giving the person all the expertise and knowledge needed to play that role.
- base salary: this is a function of job market. Not a specific motivation lever itself, unless it is far off.
- job security: important for many risk-averse techies.
- bonuses: linked to specific events (ex: on time delivery, special effort).
- good dinners or incentives (experiences in isango! style) on specific events.
- dinners/incentives on specific events to be shared with family (ex: 100 eur “voucher” for a special dinner with partner).
- work environment: top quality IT equipment, ergonomic supplies, PDA/blackberry.
- discount on company’s own products and services.
- NEGATIVE: finding out on the market that the base salary is too low.