Culture can make or break a workplace. With a strong sense of camaraderie and collaboration, your tech team can power through the most difficult periods with their heads held high. But if your tech team culture isn't there, even a high salary may not be enough to attract and retain the talent needed.
How can tech team managers build a positive working culture?
1. Don't glamorise overworking
And no father on his deathbed wishes he had spent more time in the office.
— Shaun McDonnell (@McShauno) November 27, 2018
In November 2018, a tweet by Elon Musk suggested that Tesla employees regularly work over 40 hours per week. Many users quickly retorted, insisting that the glamorisation of overtime wasn't okay.
There's something to be learned in this. Even if overtime looks commendable to leaders, your team probably don't see much glory in it. Emphasise the importance of tools-down at the end of the day, and check in with your staff to ensure they aren't approaching burnout. Stressed-out staff might commiserate with each other, but they'll be too busy working to form the meaningful bonds that improve collaboration and retention.
2. Celebrate and encourage open, constructive critique
Publicly recognise when team members give great constructive feedback. Make it clear exactly what behaviour you're rewarding.
By normalising constructive feedback, your team may feel more comfortable critiquing each others' work honestly and supportively, resulting in clearer communication and stronger collaboration.
3. Clearly communicate the team's goals
Your team want to know why they're doing something – beyond the fact that it's their job. When each task has a clearly defined purpose, employees can more easily apply meaning to the work they do. Likewise, their peers can more easily recognise the benefits of what they've done and in turn celebrate their achievements with them.
By creating meaning in every task, you contribute to a culture of positivity and peer-to-peer recognition.
4. Understand your team
It's time to break down the belief that a business hierarchy should create social barriers. It's important for managers to know their staff on a personal, but still professional, level. Understanding the goals and nuances of each person on your team helps you better address their needs. Consider your demographic as well – if your team has a number of working parents, alcoholic team-building events that might run very late may not be your most inclusive option.
Don't let your role as a superior prevent you from engaging with the team.
5. Hire great personalities
Lastly, look to employ agents of positive cultural change. Even the best developers can spoil a workplace culture if their attitudes don't mesh. Look for people who support your company's vision and encourage teamwork.
Hiring both talent and personality requires the right connections and strong industry knowledge. At 920 Career Agents, we'll connect you with the staff you need to make your workplace culture shine. Get in touch today.