Some of your workers will be happy to wear multiple hats, and will likely only need a few tools for them to do their job well. But developers are different. They have a particular set of skills, and it’s important to create a working environment that allows their work to flourish.
Plus, they’ll likely be eating up a large chunk of your staffing budget, so it’s important that you’re getting your money’s worth.
As such, it’s recommended to do whatever you can to give them the support they need to work at their highest level. Indeed, it may be worthwhile putting together a developers-only plan — they’re not like “regular” employees, after all.
In this post, we’ll run through some effective ways that businesses can help their developers deliver their best.
Speak to your average developer, and they’ll invariably tell you that they feel overwhelmed with work. Of course, if there’s work to be done, then there’s work to be done. You don’t have to remove tasks from their workload. But it is worthwhile changing how you present their work to them.
Rather than dumping all tasks on their desks, look at setting manageable goals and dividing jobs into short-term, medium-term, and long-term objectives. Your developers will be happy if they have the capacity to complete at least one task a week, rather than feeling that they’re just continually making small dents in many jobs.
Things can get messy when there’s no sense of individuality in a team. It’s best to give each developer their own clearly defined role and objectives. This will help them claim ownership over what they’re doing, which helps to keep them focused, and just more broadly makes managing the team easier for you too.
Once you’ve given a developer their role and task, it’s best to just let them get on with things. It can be tempting to micromanage, but it only satisfies the manager — the developer will hate it. It’s best to just set check-in meetings and a due date.
Invest in Their Training
Studies have repeatedly shown that employees who receive training are more engaged with their jobs and happier in their roles. All too often, companies expect staff to top up their skills in their personal time, but that’s not realistic with so many people working longer hours than ever before. Instead, look at building employee development into your business operations.
If you have the budget to do so, then you could send them to conferences and workshops. If you don’t have the budget for that, then look at allowing them to self-learn during working hours and provide a stipend for materials. It’ll help your employees, which in turn will help your business, since a developer that’s well-trained and up-to-date with the latest practices will deliver better results.
Lighten Their Workload
Your developers will want to spend their time on value-adding tasks, not time-consuming tasks that stop them from doing what they should be doing. As such, it’s important to look at any and all ways to lighten their workload. There’ll be plenty of jobs that require their expertise and labor, but some, such as creating templates, will be a waste of their time and energy.
Rather than handing this job to your developers, look at using a document generation platform, which will allow your developers to focus on core business tasks. There’ll be other ways to lighten their workload, too. In general, it’s best to just ask them directly which non-value-adding tasks are taking up their time. Whatever they are, they’ll likely be a solution you can utilize.
All employees work best when they’re able to fully dive into their work, but especially developers. In fact, this level of focus is so important to developers that they often don’t do anything when they’re outside of that focused state.
You can help your team by giving them the freedom they need to get into that state of mind, whatever that may be. Some developers will work best in the office; others at home. Some work best in the morning; some in the evening. You get the idea!
Finally, look at fully integrating your developers into your business. Since they’re a team within themselves, many developers work almost entirely remotely and can often feel separated from the rest of the company’s employees.
As such, it’s important to take additional steps to ensure they’re included. This may involve holding special get-togethers and sending company swag. In other words: you should treat them like a regular employee.
Article and permission to publish here provided as Contributed Content. Originally written for Supply Chain Game Changer and published on November 15, 2023.
Cover photo by pexels.com.