Many developers are intimately familiar with the concept of last-minute crunch. Despite best intentions, deadlines and increasing client expectations can make a dent in team morale when the going gets tough.
During crunch time, it's up to those in leadership positions to assist their team in any way and ensure staff are happy and work gets finished. Here are our tips for keeping morale up through crunch time.
1. Communicate the bigger picture
When stress is running higher, it's easy for people to lose track of what it means to be a team. This is a great time to regroup and reaffirm everyone's individual value. By demonstrating how each person helps the team work towards the common goal, you can help to pull team members out of the individual mindset. When staff are focussing on their own work, rather than the whole team's goals, it's easy for them to internalise stress and lose sight of what matters most.
Demonstrate the bigger picture to your team when crunch time kicks in, to promote transparency and collaboration.
2. Be available
During this time, it's important you're available to your team to assist as they need. This might mean answering questions, redistributing work or removing roadblocks for your team. It's important you can lead from the front. Stay by their side and don't be afraid to roll up your sleeves to lend a hand.
Another key part of this is noticing those around you. Team members may not always ask for help – look out for signs of stress such as uncharacteristic irritability or exhaustion1 – and ask how you can help.
3. Celebrate success
Setting a precedent for recognition is vital. Reward your staff for pulling through difficult periods at work publicly and equally. Feeling appreciated for hard work helps employees maintain a more positive perception of their role, despite crunch.
Celebrating the achievements of your team also encourages further workplace collaboration and support – with well-recognised employees rating their coworkers 13 per cent more highly than others2.
4. Reflect as a team
Lastly, never deny that crunch is hard. Once the project or iteration has been delivered, take the time to reflect on crunch as a team. Identify ways your processes could improve and ask for feedback on your contributions as a leader. This is crucial to finding out how your team operates and improving future crunch.
Crunch can have an impact on the job satisfaction of your developer team. Stay afloat by connecting your business with the best leadership candidates in New Zealand – reach out to 920 Career Agents today.
1– Health Navigator New Zealand, Stress at work.
2-Tiny Pulse, How employee appreciation affects company culture.