How to motivate developers and provide them comfort of work?

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#16 maceysoftware  Icon User is offline

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Re: How to motivate developers and provide them comfort of work?

Posted 02 June 2017 - 08:29 AM

I also have to disagree... I would have to eat a lot more doughnuts that 9 to "rather" not eat another one. I think I would still be liking the ninth one the best =/ each doughnut just gets better and better doesn't it?

You know what else gets better and better? pay rises? sure I am happy with my wage but dang it, if my company stopped topping me up every once in a while, it would be a quick way for me to head to the door!
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#17 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: How to motivate developers and provide them comfort of work?

Posted 02 June 2017 - 08:38 AM

Not to get all pedantic with an analogy, but financials are so much more than a donut. For some folk more money, a significant bonus, etc means the difference between buying a house this year or staying in a shit apartment. Between living in panic over medical visits and avoiding them, or getting help sooner. Getting an elderly parent in a quality care facility or having them on your couch. Skimping on retirement funding avenues or getting through the month.. a stay-cation or an actual vacation.

Just say'n, for me it rubs raw a nerve (or three) when "professional manager trainers" or someone beating the "money isn't a motivator" drum comes in spitting all that jive; hand waving away 'money' to dig into people for what "really motivates". Sure 107% autonomy is great, having manager backing two-beer-max-Fridays, or one day a month where I can spend a day at work tinkering with lasers on the company time.. that's fine and dandy but folk should dial back "money is boring.. money doesn't motivate" game and recognize they crossed the line from what the original intent was: find things that cost the company substantially less than bags full of money to be the carrot on a stick.

All of this of course is just nebulous 'at the gate' sort of thing and not even discussing what "job improvement" means, but I am tired and that's all I have to say about that.

Posted Image


Oh, and I apologize.. I forgot to add in my first reply the the usual "will you ever come back and post the results of the survey?" response that goes ignored on nearly all of these flash-in-the-pan survey posts.

Derp.. looks like b9 beat me to it.
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#18 Atli  Icon User is offline

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Re: How to motivate developers and provide them comfort of work?

Posted 02 June 2017 - 09:49 AM

View Postkwolsky, on 02 June 2017 - 02:49 PM, said:

Yes that is true, monetary increases aren't as much important from some level or rather don't work like at the beginning.

I don't know. It seems the richer people are, the more desperate they are to make even more money.

Moving from riding the bus to work, to driving a used car to work, is relatively cheap.
Moving from that used car to a cheap new car is more expensive.
Moving from that cheap car to a luxury car even more so.
Then hiring a driver, more expensive still.

The next step always costs more, and people are NEVER satisfied with what they have now.

I for one would love to move from my perfectly decent apartment to my own house, but for that I'd need a raise. If you told me I could have that raise if I worked a couple of hours extra every day, I'd seriously consider that. However if you told me I could spend a couple of hours extra at the office working on whatever I wanted, with no oversight, and free doughnuts, but at the same price, I'd probably roll my eyes at you and go back to my apartment to play video games.
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#19 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is offline

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Re: How to motivate developers and provide them comfort of work?

Posted 02 June 2017 - 10:14 AM

On the money question, clearly money is an important motivator, and clearly it is not the sole motivator. I work for a non-profit. I know that I could improve my pay by, at a guess, 20% by hanging out my resume and picking the most interesting thing that came around. (could up that percentage by changing the selection criteria from "most interesting" to "most lucrative")

So I think the question is, knowing that money is a strong motivator, what other motivators are there?

In my case, they include these:
- I like the company I work for. What we do is worth doing, and the way we do it is in concord with my basic values. (lesson: be the company that you want to work for)
- I like the people I work with. My team and the company as a whole are made up of interesting people who I like working with, who have the skills to do their jobs and who enjoy doing their jobs (lesson: part of my motivation is knowing that the people around me are well-motivated - it's hard to work with people who hate their jobs)
- I, and the rest of my team, have enough autonomy to set our working conditions the way we want them to be, within reasonable limits. When someone asks me to do my work in some particular way, or to be in a particular meeting, it's always for a reasonable reason. (lesson: bullshit is a strong demotivator)
- My immediate boss and the top company brass are actively concerned with my interests, and demonstrate this regularly (lesson: if you want people to look out for you, you should be looking out for them)

Looking at all of this, I think you could consider the fundamental relationships between me and the company and between me and the people at the company to amount to a bonus which I would not give up for a 20% pay hike.

The trouble is that this is extremely hard to fake. You can't do this stuff by adopting a set of policies, you have to actually care about these things. It helps that we're a non-profit, so we aren't beholden to investors, and our board of directors is on board with the way we're working. I honestly don't know how you would make this work if maximizing profit were part of your requirements.
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#20 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is offline

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Re: How to motivate developers and provide them comfort of work?

Posted 02 June 2017 - 10:22 AM

View Postmodi123_1, on 02 June 2017 - 10:38 AM, said:

find things that cost the company substantially less than bags full of money to be the carrot on a stick.


Well, that would be the right way to go about it, wouldn't it? I mean, if you buy me a few beers on a friday, that's like ten bucks a week, retail. (assuming bottled beer, and assuming I drink less than a six-pack on an evening) Fifty weeks in the year, that's $500. At developer salaries, the cost of this as an incentive doesn't matter to anyone - I'm never going to notice ten bucks a week on my paycheck one way or another. But if the opportunity to chill out with my co-workers and enjoy a beer and some conversation turns out to be something that matters to me, and maybe it gives me a cue to wind up the week at five o'clock instead of pushing for that last bit of feature, then that's something I couldn't buy for any money, and so it's a worthwhile motivator, which the company couldn't buy for any number of bags full of money.
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#21 NeoTifa  Icon User is offline

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Re: How to motivate developers and provide them comfort of work?

Posted 02 June 2017 - 10:54 AM

There is a competing company with a very nasty reputation begging me to come to their company. They're offering me $95k/yr. They call me every 2 months or so now, vs. weekly, asking how I'm liking my new job and if I'm ready to go over. I'm like "naw fam, I'll take $6Xk at a great company than $95k at a bad workplace anyday". They still call. wtf? Work culture accounts for a lot. I know I complain a lot on here about drama, but that's crap you're gonna get everywhere, and it's only like 1-2 people causing it.
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#22 ArtificialSoldier  Icon User is offline

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Re: How to motivate developers and provide them comfort of work?

Posted 02 June 2017 - 11:41 AM

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The thing is, Bob, it's not that I'm lazy, it's that I just don't care. It's a problem of motivation, all right? Now if I work my ass off and we ship a few extra units, I don't see another dime, so where's the motivation? And here's something else, Bob: I have eight different bosses right now. Eight, Bob. So that means that when I make a mistake, I have eight different people coming by to tell me about it. That's my only real motivation is not to be hassled, that and the fear of losing my job. But you know, Bob, that will only make someone work just hard enough not to get fired.
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#23 Michael26  Icon User is offline

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Re: How to motivate developers and provide them comfort of work?

Posted 04 June 2017 - 11:45 PM

View PostAtli, on 02 June 2017 - 02:10 PM, said:

kwolsky said:

"Have you got a minute" this is one of the most annoying question pointed by our programmers :D/>/>

That, and any email from a manager/client that includes the word "URGENT!" in the subject line. If you get one of those, you know the rest of the day is going to be shit, no matter how trivial the matter actually is.

Manager said:

URGENT! MUST FIX RIGHT NOW!!!

Client noticed that the borders of this input control are the wrong shade of grey! It needs to be #ccc not #aaa!!!

Please drop whatever your doing and fix this in the next 30 seconds. Then gather all the developers and come to my office so you can spend the next 4 hours listening to me - yet again - droning on about how this is unacceptable, and all the all the stupid ideas I have about how we can "fix" it.


And then, at the end of the day, they are shocked to hear that we are all behind on our work.

Is this accurate to say :)
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#24 kwolsky  Icon User is offline

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Re: How to motivate developers and provide them comfort of work?

Posted 05 June 2017 - 12:47 AM

This is not the ting of 'believing' but rather of empirical data.
I do not claim that "money do not motivate' - I just say that its influence change along with the rise.
But I respect your point of view :)
#peace
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#25 kwolsky  Icon User is offline

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Re: How to motivate developers and provide them comfort of work?

Posted 05 June 2017 - 12:52 AM

And to all of you - thank you for your input.
I did not expected such an engagement.
Thank you very much - I will try to open more eyes with your valuable opinions.
:)
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#26 Skydiver  Icon User is offline

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Re: How to motivate developers and provide them comfort of work?

Posted 05 June 2017 - 05:58 AM

Having been on the other side of the fence where I worked for the Evil Empire for a few years, I can agree with the statement regarding the impact of Maslow's heirarchy of needs. To motivate employees and make them more productive, you have to pay them enough so that they are not worrying about money, health benefits, child care, gym memberships, commutes, etc. Provide an environment that allows people to explore their ideas. If at all possible, remove the influence of office politics and empire building.
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#27 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is offline

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Re: How to motivate developers and provide them comfort of work?

Posted 05 June 2017 - 06:40 AM

View PostAtli, on 02 June 2017 - 11:49 AM, said:

Moving from riding the bus to work, to driving a used car to work, is relatively cheap.
Moving from that used car to a cheap new car is more expensive.
Moving from that cheap car to a luxury car even more so.
Then hiring a driver, more expensive still.


Remediating the resulting impact on climate, moving all of your most productive cities fifty miles inland or jacking them up on stilts and turning their streets into canals - quite expensive.
Telling your kids about what it used to be like, back before the deluge? Priceless.
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#28 dday9  Icon User is offline

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Re: How to motivate developers and provide them comfort of work?

Posted 05 June 2017 - 11:27 AM

I am a small business owner, though I'm in the P&C insurance and Life/Retirement insurance industry.

Essentially it looks like your question boils down to a question asked across industries and that is "How do I get my employees to do what I want." I found though personal experience that employees want to have purpose. Give them a means to measure themselves and bonuses that accurately reflect when they meet goals.

For example, my employees know that on the Property and Casualty side of the business we have a motto "Strive for 5." this is to say, try to give 5 insurance quotes a day. They recognize the importance of giving 5 quotes because our close ratio is 20%, so what is 20% of 5... 1 sale. To go even further than that, they know that there are roughly 20 business days in each month, and since 1 policy does not necessarily yield 1 item(an auto policy with 3 vehicles is a 3 item policy off of 1 sale or they may sell two policies at one time like bundling an auto and a home which would be 2 or more items... a little confusing if you don't work in the industry), they know that if they make 1 sell per business day that they will likely hit my monthly bonus of $500 if they write 30 items.

The reason I give you my example is to show you how it is a win-win for the employees and myself(the employer). The employees have a measurable goal and know how to achieve this goal. If the employees hit this goal, then they get an additional $500 per month (which is a good monthly bonus in my part of Louisiana). The employer has a means of keeping the employees accountable and even though $500/employee is a good bit, whenever I break it down to an hourly bonus, I'm really only giving them a $3.13 an hour pay raise ($500 / (20 business days * 8 hours)) and the pay increase on my end is definitely worth paying out the bonus because of the added premium from those items.

For those employees who are programmers, here are some ideas that can give the programmers a way to keep themselves accountable:
  • How many times did I use existing code templates/snippets to shorten the time it took for me to complete the project
  • Did I submit a written schedule of key breakpoints of where the project should be at any given time and did I stick to that schedule (or was I early/late)?
  • Did I create a process from this project that will help me and other programmers shorten the amount of time future projects will take?


So to make a long post short, if you give employees purpose and a way to measure themselves, they will hold themselves more accountable and keep themselves more motivated than any employer could ever do by simply asking (or even worse demanding) it.
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#29 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is offline

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Re: How to motivate developers and provide them comfort of work?

Posted 05 June 2017 - 01:59 PM

Meaningful and measurable goals are very important. In software, that's usually achieved by an agile process. The team figures out the relative scale of the work that's being asked for, the stakeholders ask for a bundle of work based on those estimates, and the team tries to meet or exceed the goal they've agreed to.
Bonuses are generally based on an annual or semi-annual review, which would include the team's velocity improvements. (so the whole team wins together - in software, you don't really want developers competing with each other to land their own personal points, this might be different in sales)
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#30 WabiSabi  Icon User is offline

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Re: How to motivate developers and provide them comfort of work?

Posted 05 June 2017 - 02:32 PM

The money thing has been covered.

Other factors I think can influence employee satisfaction.
  • Recognition for a job well done and for extra effort and time put in.
  • Comfortable space to work (nice chairs, office with a window, coffee maker readily available, etc.)
  • The ability to work from home as needed.
  • Flexible hours.
  • Pizza and or ice cream provided by the boss on occasion as a 'thank you' to employees for their work.

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