3 simple tips to keep your developers happy

20th December 2017

How to attract good developers and keep them

Turnover rates within the technology industry are notoriously high – which can make staff churn an expensive part of running your business. A recent study, by The American Management Association, reported costs of between 25% and 250% of annual salary per exiting employee.

It’s not surprising. Developers are in high demand these days and a skilled programmer often has the luxury of switching jobs as and when they please.

secret source development team
Our happy staff – 23 and counting…

When you find a good developer it makes sense to treat them well

Here at Secret Source we’re very lucky. We have a deep and skilled talent pool to draw on – from the excellent University of Las Palmas. But once we find them, we also work hard to keep each one of our team on board. And we’re exceptionally proud that none of our developers have ever left us for another company.

While I accept there’s a degree of good fortune involved in this, good staff are always hard to find. So we do our best to keep developers happy, motivated and continuing to do great work for Secret Source.

What makes our developers so happy?

We think these 3 simple company policies reduce ‘staff churn’ and stop our developers moving on.

1. Culture
Development is a team sport. Ensuring staff feel a part of something bigger is good for commitment, productivity and loyalty.

Nobody likes to work in isolation and we all appreciate being praised for our achievements. So we make a point of congratulating colleagues on their good work. We talk about it during staff meetings, stand ups and in our conversations with other staff.

Surveys repeatedly cite ‘not feeling recognised for their efforts’ as a leading reason for leaving a job. So clearly praise plays a part in decision making. Try to create a supportive environment that allows your team to further their career, learn on the job and enjoy life away from the office.

2. Time

keeping developers at your company
The Secret Source team at work

Big name tech firms – like Facebook and Google – are well known for accommodating their employees’ personal schedules, leisure interests and life demands. There’s no reason you can’t do the same.

Flexible working conditions are especially important for working parents and people with family commitments – who are far more likely to stick around than employees with less responsibilities.

Web development can be a time-consuming and lengthy process. So if members of your team prefer to put in straight 14 hour shifts, skip the odd weekend in return for time off later or produce their best work after midnight, let them. Results will speak for themselves.

Of course, there are times when your whole team will need to be together. But we’ve found this flexible approach really pays off, keeping our developers happy and far less likely to look around for better working conditions.

3. Freedom
If we learned one thing from setting up Secret Source it’s that when you want people to be really productive, you have to give them autonomy.

Developers are highly educated people who thrive on solving complex problems. Invariably they will need to learn new systems and skills to do their job well. Most have a strong entrepreneurial flare – so it’s only logical that once an employee begins to feel trapped in a single role they’ll want to move on.

Our solution to this has always been to give our team 2 key freedoms; a high degree of self management and the opportunity to learn new skills. To us this just feels like common sense – and the results make us a more talented, more productive company.

How taking a different approach could save you money?

Unfortunately, there’s no universally approved statistic on the cost of losing a developer. But one of our oldest clients recently estimated the total cost to his company, of losing an employee, ranges between 1.5 and 2.5 times of their annual salary.

So while you might be able to find replacement staff (often on a lower salary), once you consider the complexity of your technical portfolio – and how long it will take for that new employee to become productive – the cost can easily run into the tens of thousands.

That’s before you take into account spend on advertising new positions, recruiting fees plus the time taken for interviews and onboarding. Or the associated costs of losing an employee – like lowered productivity, team morale and engagement.

A practical way to avoid staff churn and the hassle of finding new developers

If all this is beginning to resonate, you’re not alone. No company enjoys losing a productive employee – or having to replace them – especially when you factor in any highly-coveted skills particular to your own business.

At Secret Source our Sprint Team Assist packages offer a full stack of skilled developers. Trained, happy and ready to become a part of your team,

How can Secret Source help your company

keeping developers happy
Clients love popping over for the odd workation

Remove the headache, cost and stress of replacing staff with a flexible approach that delivers exactly the right people, when and where you need them. No lengthy onboarding or training issues and the flexibility to scale up or down, depending on your project.

Our agile approach – and the depth of talent on our bench – means we can fill the gaps or take the lead and work on projects of any size or duration. If you’d like to come and see us work, or send members of your team over, that’s fine by us.

Many of our partners make a point of joining us for the occasional workation. They love the chance to soak up some sunshine, recharge their batteries, hang out by the beach and work alongside their team here in Gran Canaria.

If you’d like to know more about Sprint Team Assist and how we can help your business, give us a call or drop us an email and ask for Matt +34 928 359 902.

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