Sunday, March 22, 2015

The 6 Not So Technical Needs, of Technical People

Leading people is a challenge in itself.  The needs and motivators vary from group to group; marketing people are motivated by a completely different set of values than accounting personnel. 

Trying to understand the motivators or needs of the various groups can be overwhelming at times, categorizing into one big pot is not anymore the solution than throwing your hands up. 

While much of what motivates an individual is within the individual, as leaders its important to understand the needs of technical professionals as you map your people strategy to get the most out of your people.

Autonomy:  To work without being micromanaged is part of the reason that technical professionals choose there given field.  The more you can offer them the freedom to accomplish the task with autonomy the more satisfaction they will find.  Of course, this is often easier said than done but even in small doses the positive mojo the technical professional will get from autonomy will pay off in spades.

Achievement:  While everyone wants to feel a sense of accomplishment at the end of the day, the techie is even more motived by a sense of ‘done’ at some point.  An on-going project with no real end point will drive these folks crazy and serve as a major de-motivator at some point.  A great way to overcome this is setting milestone achievements that can be measured and tracked; this allows achievement to be real and validated for these folks.

Keeping Current:  Techies take great pride in their ability to stay on top of the latest whiz-bang process or advancement in their field.  Allowing them to keep current on their trade will not only add to their happiness at work but more times than not will help the organization get better. 

Professional Identification: While technical people enjoy their credentials more than most, they find meaning in their professional identification and association with the industry. This can be capitalized upon greatly by allowing them to actively participate within the industry events, conferences or learning and networking opportunities.

Participation in Mission and Goals:  This is great because while some folks like to hide in the weeds of the company mission, techies love to have a line of sight form their role and responsibilities to the company mission.  It is important to see their impact on the company mission. 

Collegial Support and Sharing:  Beyond water-cooler chat and company softball teams these individuals like to feel part of a bigger community.   Again, this is a great opportunity for companies and leaders to bring out the best in their people by developing and recruiting focus groups, crowdsourcing and group think.

In the end, technical professionals want to be included and actively participate in the company mission.  Developing an organization that meet these needs will fast track your group into bringing out the best in your technical workforce.

If you are building a world-class technical team, and need some help.  Contact one of the practice leaders at Connor|Caitlin.