Keeping High Tech Workforce Engaged and Motivated

July 10, 2013
# min read
Janice Giannini

Keeping a high tech work force engaged and motivated in some ways is very similar to keeping any work force engaged and motivated. However, there is an added layer of complexity.

Technology people are people first and then technologists. So to keep them engaged and motivate necessitates viewing this from 2 perspectives: how to keep people engaged and motivated and how to keep the technologist challenged.

Depending on whom you listento, we either: 

·     Have all the talent we need and then some 

·     We outsource most of our technology work anyway 

·     There is a talent shortage in technology arena even though we outsource routine work 

·     Pick another option. 

Regardless of the option chosen, in order to achieve your desired results of a fully engaged workforce it is imperative to understand the business, the culture and what you are trying to achieve. If in fact you want to create a high value, fully engaged team then what you do matters. How you do it matters just as much.

In order to understand how to motivate and keep technology workforce engaged, I invite you to reflect upon the following questions:

How important is it that you engage and motivate your technical workforce? Industry surveys indicate that less than a third of the workforce today is fully engaged. 

·     So if you could produce three times your current business impact with your current business budget, what would that enable you to do? 

·     How much more quickly would your business grow? 

·     How much more satisfied and loyal would your customer base be if you were more timely with meeting their needs? 

·     How much time would be saved due to faster delivery? 

·     What would that mean for the leadership? 

·     What would that mean for the entire company workforce? 

What are you willing to do to achieve three times the business impact with the same budget? In order to achieve these results, I invite you to view this from the following vantage point and reflect upon: 

·     How well do you understand and articulate the connection between the work being performed and the company direction? 

·     Does everyone on the team including you believe in the company direction and its ability to accomplish its goals? 

·     Is the work that you are asking people to perform challenging for them in some way? 

·     Is there a sense of connectedness on the cross functional business team? 

·     Are the technology members of the team proud of the work they are doing? 

·     Do the technology members of the team feel that they make a difference for the company's future? 

·     Do people understand how the technology they are working on contributes to the success and growth of the company's future? 

·     Is what you are doing current in the marketplace or out dated and lagging behind? How much impact does that have? 

What are you willing to "not do" in order to achieve this improved business impact? In any organization there is long standing ways of thinking that may or may not be productive to achieving your end goals. Again I invite to reflect upon these questions and determine how much you are willing to "not do" or aka "let go of" in order to achieve the business impact of three times your current workforce: 

·     When you look in the mirror are you fully engaged? 

·     Is the team following your lead? How do you know? 

·     Do we deal with problems when they come up or just let them be? 

·     Do you seize opportunities when they surface or drift along? 

·     Do we view the "impossible demands" of marketplace as an opportunity to excel or as a self fulfilling prophecy? 

·     How do you respond to the statement: "Yes you burn at least 40% of payroll dollars weekly?" Do you say that's just the way it is or not anymore? 

What stops you from doing it now? Everyday when you wake up and go to work, consider asking you the following questions. Take notes on the impacts that you observe. Is this worth doing consistently with intent? 

·     What have you done to demonstrate the going the extra mile is important? 

·     How do you help people go the extra mile? 

·     What have you done to demonstrate that thinking outside the box is important? 

·     What have you done to demonstrate the taking appropriate risk is expected and rewarded? 

·     How do you help people think outside the box and take risk as appropriate? 

Having a fully engaged workforce is within your grasp. The companies that create an environment that fully engages their workforce will be the winners in today's economy. The staff knows the difference. It has been proven time and time again from childhood to adulthood that when expectations are clear and leaders, lead by example. 

Goals are not only achieved they are surpassed in an astounding number of cases. When will you be ready to produce astounding results? 

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