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The Almighty Buck IT

Ask Slashdot: Best Incentives For IT Workers? 468

Posted by timothy
from the try-this-delicious-addictive-coffee dept.
New submitter Guru Jim writes "Our company is currently looking at our incentives program and are wondering what is out there that helps motivate IT workers. We have engineers/sys admins as well as developers. With both teams, we have guns who are great and really engaged in looking after the customers, but some of the team struggle. Sometimes it is easy to say that there isn't too much work on and goof off and read Slashdot all day. This puts more pressure on some of the team. Management is being more proactive in making sure the work is shared equally, but we are wondering what can be out there that is more carrot than stick? We already have cake day, corporate massage day, bonuses for exams and profit share, but what is out there that is innovative and helps build a great workplace?" If you're reading this, the odds are good that you work in or around IT (or hope to); what would you most like to see your workplace implement?
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Ask Slashdot: Best Incentives For IT Workers?

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  • by PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @03:08PM (#41507611)

    That sounds like enough of an incentive to me.

    • by DrLang21 (900992) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @03:18PM (#41507673)
      Profit sharing based on a broad range of metrics in the company (profit, efficiency, quality goals, etc) along with quarterly meeting to go over the status of those metrics. This quite litterally ties everyone's efforts together.
      • by Dan667 (564390) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @03:47PM (#41507919)
        this only works if there is trust with management. I use to work for a company that did this and the upper management always picked goals that miraculously never could be met. This happened for years....
        • by _Sharp'r_ (649297) <sharper.booksunderreview@com> on Sunday September 30, 2012 @05:05PM (#41508351) Homepage Journal

          "Guru" Jim is asking the wrong people.

          If he really wants to know what incentive structure would be better for his IT staff, he should ask them to design one for him. Give them a budget limitation, as appropriate.

          Seriously, they'll be happy to do it and they'll do a much better job than either his management or someone answering generically who doesn't understand his employees and his business.

          If he calls the people he considers his best workers "guns" and so on from the question, he doesn't understand IT well enough to create a good environment on his own anyway. However, I'm sure the experienced folks in his IT department know exactly who is worth their salary in the department and how to measure that for the managers to be able to figure it out also.

          You've hired experts in the field, and you're asking on the web for how to manage them? They're supposed to be the experts on the IT needs of your company. Try asking them. Of course, I suppose that's a little too obvious and may produce too much information that reflects poorly on their management. So Caveat Emptor!

          • by craigminah (1885846) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @05:47PM (#41508609)
            I think the problem may lie with the fact "Guru" Jim had to ask total strangers what his employees need as motivation. I'd suggest management get out and "manage by walking around"...talk to your people and see what motivates them or demotivates them and take it from there.
          • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 30, 2012 @06:43PM (#41508875)

            If he really wants to know what incentive structure would be better for his IT staff, he should ask them to design one for him. Give them a budget limitation, as appropriate.

            The point of an incentive system is to leverage the maximum amount of work for the minimum investment.

            Examples would be: providing $10 worth of pizza to the guys working through lunch in place of paying them an extra $50/hr; awarding a $1,000 bonus to the guys who worked 80 hours last week and would have got an extra $2,000 at their hourly rate or $3,000 if you paid them overtime; giving out a trip to the most productive team to go carting, costing you maybe $500 but getting an average of an extra $300 worth of work out of all four teams competing.

            Best case, you ask them to come up with incentives, they'll take it seriously and come up with entirely fair 1:1 compensation for their time. At that point, you may as well have just paid them better in the first place, offered them paid overtime in place of OTE or hired more, as you're not getting any increased profitability from their fair program.

            Most likely though, they'll come up with a program that's easy for them to game and get more compensation than the extra effort actually merits. The guys who always come in early anyway will likely set up an early arrivers bonus, those who already hit 40 tickets a day will set a bonus threshold at 40.

            If the point of an incentive system is to get extra work for less than, you know, hiring extra people to do that extra work, you are by definition asking for more for less. Asking people to set up the system for tricking extra work out of them? Probably not that successful.

            To be fair though, very, very few incentive systems actually work anyway. The smart figure out how to game the system (give a bonus for clearing the most tickets and you suddenly notice some guys only take the quick and easy tickets, refusing to touch the hard ones). The lazy figure they're not going to get the bonus anyway and don't make an effort. Worse, it divides your team as those who aren't getting the incentive complain about how unfair the system is and it drives a wedge between them and those who were smart enough to figure out how to game it. Joel on Software has written a bunch of good articles on this, here's one of them [joelonsoftware.com].

          • by R3d M3rcury (871886) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @06:52PM (#41508917) Journal

            If he really wants to know what incentive structure would be better for his IT staff, he should ask them to design one for him.

            Actually, have each of them design it. People are individuals and what motivates one does not necessarily motivate another.

            Years ago, my boss asked a similar question. I and my team had been working really hard to get a product shipped and he wondered what he could do for all of us. I suggested he do things for each of us.

            For example, I like toys. Have the company buy me a nice big display and new computer and I'm happy. One of the other guys really liked time off--wanted to go spend time with his LDR. Another one liked money--a cash bonus to do with as he pleased. So if the boss had bought us all new toys, I'd've been psyched but everyone would have been "meh." Give us all an extra week off? One guy is psyched, everyone else? Meh. Same with the cash.

            Ultimately, that's what he did and it worked out well.

      • by TheEldest (913804) <theeldest@NoSpAm.gmail.com> on Sunday September 30, 2012 @03:50PM (#41507941)

        I think short term rewards help more than long term.

        For my team when you're above your execution rate for a week you are eligible to work from home one day the next week. In general, no one does anything when they work from home but to be eligible, they have to get their work done in the office. It's effectively getting people to work harder 4 days a week for an extra day off.

        Obviously, this may or may not work with your environment.

        • by 93 Escort Wagon (326346) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @04:02PM (#41508023)

          If nothing's getting done on days employees are working from home, that smacks of bad management. When I work from home, I have to give my manager a report on what I've done that day. He's happy because he knows I'm getting my work done, and I'm happy because I didn't have to commute that day.

          If, at your company, "work from home" is a euphemism for "take a day off"... why pretend? The company should just state "if you're above your execution rate for an entire week, you can take a day off the following week".

        • For me, "work from home" means "work (from home)".

          For the first few years that I had this job, I had no other way to work, since our nearest office was about 10 000 km away. The last few years, working in the office has become an option, but generally means getting less work done due to commute time and the distractions that are bound to occur whenever several dozen humans are shut in together for some hours in an enclosed space. What's even more distracting for me personally is that, for some reason, the h

          • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 30, 2012 @05:22PM (#41508441)
            What's even more distracting for me personally is that, for some reason, the hottest female in the office decided a few months back that we were lunch buddies. (I dunno, maybe I'm the only guy there who hasn't hit on her, or something.)

            Maybe in her not-so-subtle way she's trying to get you to rectify that oversight?
          • by inKubus (199753)

            Don't let her distract you. You're in the friend zone. You don't need her. You the man.

        • by mellon (7048)

          If you're above your execution rate for the week, isn't the reward that you don't get executed?

    • by R. M. Dasheff (2598713) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @04:50PM (#41508289)
      Guns don't kill projects, managers kill projects.
  • Daily reports (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ClickOnThis (137803) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @03:10PM (#41507623) Journal

    Every day, each employee e-mails a short report of what s/he did that day. It doesn't take too long, and it encourages mutual accountability, even if only a few co-workers read them regularly.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by bugnuts (94678)

      Throwing bureaucracy at it is an incentive? Sounds like a disincentive to do projects that are either researchy or slow. Who the hell wants to do the disassembly of the magic bootstrap code that can take weeks of stepping through Roms, when you can be quickly coding a brainless API implementation?

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by ClickOnThis (137803)

        Throwing bureaucracy at it is an incentive? Sounds like a disincentive to do projects that are either researchy or slow. Who the hell wants to do the disassembly of the magic bootstrap code that can take weeks of stepping through Roms, when you can be quickly coding a brainless API implementation?

        I'm not talking about writing a giant tome. It could be just a handful of bullet-points. Include, e.g., brief "brags" on micro-successes, or frustrations with using a particular tool. And you can personalize it by adding jokes, recipes, interesting haiku, whatever.

        Also, there should be no judgement on the report contents, or punishment for not doing them. Instead, offer small rewards or incentives for actually completing them regularly.

        • Re:Daily reports (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 30, 2012 @03:45PM (#41507893)

          If I need a "brag" about my achievements then I need a new workplace. Let me manage my own time, provide me with the tools to effectively complete my work, randomly drop-by my cubicle once or twice a week to informally chat for a few minutes (2-5 minutes). If my co-workers are screw-up, fire them. if my co-workers are bullies, in any sense of the word, fire them. If you, as my manager, cannot meet this requirement, you should be fired. If I need two days to mentally attack a problem, leave me alone. If I need you, as my manager, to approve some out of office time, be available and do not require me to make-up the time. My mind works on your problems, consciously and subconsciously, 24 hours a day; respect me as a professional rather than as a cog in the machine. Weekly written status reports I can handle. Above all, if a co-worker is disrupting the cohesion of the team, fire the co-worker. Passive-aggressive co-workers kill an enjoyable workplace.

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by Anonymous Coward

          That approach is misguided, not only because it is a waste of valuable time, but also because employees will be encouraged to add fluff to their daily reports.

          Before we took idiot boy(our former boss) out of the picture, he was making us do daily logs of all our work. In a scientific instrument repair shop, this led to employees writing bullshit bullet points like "researched and processed part orders and documentation" when all they did was take a literal minute to fill out an excel sheet and drop it in a

        • Except for the fact that it encourages people to use company time to get nothing done. What does this accomplish? Do I really want to spend 15 minutes out of my day to say:

          Worked on testing X program
          Fixed X Bug
          Discovered X bug
          Worked on patching X bug
          Wrote e-mail about patching X bug

          The life of most IT workers is fairly boring and honestly, who wants to read about it? Business communication is stressful enough for a good chunk of workers I hardly consider having to write more business communicat
    • Re:Daily reports (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 30, 2012 @03:24PM (#41507729)

      - Administration: 2 hours
        - Writing this report: 10 minutes
        - Accounting for this report during the day: 10 minutes
        - Bathroom and breaks: 40 minutes
        - Telling others what I will be doing in the future (because they asked): 4 hours
        - Doing work: 1 hour

      My typical day. I explained to my manager that's what they'll likely see in the report. They called bullshit. I asked them to watch. They were horrified at the wasted time talking to other teams telling them every day what I was going to do but couldn't get to, and that they didn't just hang up (or leave my cube) and let me work when I told them "I'd have done 1 hour of work if I didn't spend 1 hour on the phone telling you I would do 1 hour of work today".

      In the end, I didn't have to write up more reports, and nothing got fixed because those idiots are from other departments and nobody cares. I still spend 4 hours a day telling people what I will do and that I can't do it because I'm telling you I will do it instead of doing the work. If this company weren't imploding *and* the largest tech employer in the city (and I didn't own a house), I'd have already found another job. *sigh*

      • So, your manager excused you from a task that takes 10 minutes, but did nothing about the 4 hours of walk-up requests you're still getting?

        If I were you, I'd include in my report some pre-emptive answers to the questions I'm likely to get.

      • by Zerth (26112)

        Sounds like your boss needs to give you a door that locks and a broken phone.

        • Re:Daily reports (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Grishnakh (216268) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @07:33PM (#41509139)

          If his job is anything like the last job I had, there's no place to put a door that locks, because he's in an "open work area", which upper management has decreed because it "improves collaboration". Basically, the OP needs to stop complaining about his situation, and spin it to his bosses in a new way: that he's spending 4 hours a day "collaborating" with other teams about work to be done, and then spending 1 hour/day actually working. They'll probably give him a giant raise when they see this.

      • Re:Daily reports (Score:5, Insightful)

        by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Sunday September 30, 2012 @05:51PM (#41508629) Homepage

        I wanted to say something along these lines. Be a little careful in your metrics and incentives.

        Part of the problem is, if you make people account for all of their time, you hurt morale. When morale is low, people are less productive. Attempts to keep track of everything and crack the whip on those who aren't performing might result in worse performance. Plus, as you point out, tracking time takes time. If someone spends an hour a day trying to keep track of how they're spending their time, that's 1 hour fewer open to being productive. And don't make the mistake thinking that tracking time only takes the 10 minutes of filling out the paperwork-- needing to track your time means there's one more thing vying for focus, one more thing to pay attention to.

        Aside from that, it's important to note that if you hire someone for a 40 hour work week, you're not going to get 40 hours of productive work from them. You're just not. Believe it or not, getting 25 hours of real productive work in a 40 hour work week is pretty normal. People don't really work productively for 8 hours straight. To some extent, the time wasting can be beneficial. It can let people recharge a little and talk to each other. Sometimes when you're having a hard time figuring something out, it's helpful to take a break. Having a little chit-chat with your coworkers can lead to better teamwork and collaboration. Sometimes you get things like, Employee A and Employee B have been working on similar problems, and only when they have some down-time for a casual chat do they realize that they can help each other solve the problem.

        I honestly think that many businesses focus too much on squeezing productivity out of people. They'd do better to focus on hiring good people, treating those people well, and letting those people motivate themselves.

    • by Kjella (173770)

      That would describe what you did, but not how you did it in neither quality or effort. If you're on a scrum or scrummish team you probably already have this in your daily stand-up, we actually do it sitting down but there's a round around the table on what you did get done, will be doing and any issues/assistance you might need. That's entirely for productivity reasons though, not motivating people that aren't pulling their share.

    • Re:Daily reports (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Iskender (1040286) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @03:30PM (#41507777)

      If you make writing daily reports someone's job, chances are that's exactly what it'll become. Meaning they concentrate on things that look good in the report, and little else. For an example, consider how the No Child Left Behind standardised follow-up system has made teaching/studying with only tests in mind common.

      If mutual accountability is desired, I think communicating with (talking to!) other people is much better.

      • Honestly, I do not see what the daily reports thing is about.

        When I have been in supervisory or management positions, I always had things that I (the department) needed done. Being intimately familiar with what needed to get done, I would always know what the progress was when it was important to know it.

        I would get this information by speaking to the people who were working on those tasks. Usually, it was just a word or two in passing that might escalate to more in depth discussions if needed.

        And of course

    • by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @03:41PM (#41507857) Journal

      There really are pointy haired bosses and ClickOnThis is one of them.

      Nobody reads daily reports, they are useless. And if you need to read them, you are useless.

      You see, in a real company and not in manager lala-land, people got their tasks and they are given them by other people. Only those people really need to know. If you need to know about an activity, you need to know in advance and if you don't need to know, you don't need to know. And nobody is going to spend hours after the office closed reading what other people did. And do it in the morning? Then you are one of those time wasters.

      The only people that think daily reports are useful are clueless managers who have no idea what is going on but are re-assured that since they get a list each day, something must have happened. The trick is to just fill such reports with enough random activity to look busy without taking to much time to generate and then concentrate on whatever you are doing for real. In a big enough company, it don't even matter. It is better to be thought spending weeks on a dozen trivial tasks then a single day working on one important one. Daily reports are not valued by their accuracy, but by their length. And be sure to put ANY tasks you possibly might get any time in the future,is part of the TODO list, it makes you look on top of things.

      I fear one day getting a competent manager, I wouldn't know what to do. Luckily the changes of that happening are zero.

      Ten to one ClickOnThis will one day introduce the daily report at the end of the day and the breakfast standup.

    • Re:Daily reports (Score:5, Insightful)

      by tnk1 (899206) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @03:47PM (#41507917)

      A status report is one of the most hated things tech people do. I know it's necessary sometimes, but I literally remember jobs much more fondly when I don't have to do them. And it's not because I don't get work done, it's because I hate the idea of having to think of something every day that I did which makes me look like I am doing my job.

      I like the ability to be given goals, a deadline, and achieve things on time and well. And as an engineer, and as a manager, if I set reasonable goals and they are achieved, that is a big plus for me. It may well be a good idea to break those projects down into smaller milestones for greater accountability, as well as a greater sense of achievement for the engineer who can say they got something done. If a worker wants to spend all week long reading the web and still gets my task done within the time limit and within the acceptable level of quality, I don't care what they do. If they fail, of course, they know it and I do too.

      Now, I would agree that on a personal level, it may be a good idea for engineers to write and record what they themselves did that day. That keeps them honest with themselves about what they actually did and did not do. I think reporting to others encourages people to be less honest with themselves about what they are really doing because they have to risk looking bad in front of their managers and colleagues. The people who are best at that will be those who have a certain style of work, or those who know how to bullshit on reports. Some people work better when facing deadlines and have some pressure on them, but are nearly idle when there's no pressure on them. Those people will look lazy when the reality is that they achieve as much as the people with the other habits, and sometimes more the the bullshitters.

      In the end, give your people reasonable goals, keep them broken down into discrete tasks, and call them out if and when they fail to deliver on those tasks within reason. If they fail to deliver, then I could see some remedial measures being applied. At that point, you can instruct them to record what they did that day, and expect disclosure. Or you could suggest to them that they take some time to evaluate their own habits and if they fail again, they face mandatory improvement plans or they can find a new job.

      The major things that motivate engineers are going to be a sense that they did their job well, that they are making enough money to support their families and hobbies, and that there is a sense they can excel and move ahead in some way within your organization. If I was in charge of the whole organization and had budget authority at a high enough level, I'd probably schedule a quarterly bonus and review cycle based on achievement of assigned goals with a stated level of quality and also some monetary incentive for innovation. I'd also make sure that my workers did not spend more than 40 hours in the workplace, and I would send their asses home if they tried to stay longer, unless we truly did have a real emergency, and not an emergency caused by my inability to plan properly.

      Managers can be just as shitty or as excellent as engineers can be, and they do have a very real job which is complementary, not antagonistic with a good engineer. Managers make sure that they understand the people and resources they have on hand, they plan well, and they find out how their people work their best. If a manager can make someone happier while getting the job done, they do that because your business invests a lot in retaining good workers. Good workers are also there for you when the shit hits the fan and you have no choice but to deliver no matter what. And when good engineers manage to pull your shit out of the fire, you let them know they were critical in saving everyone's ass.

      Oh, and one other thing. The best way to motivate good workers is to (after a very clear process and opportunities to improve), fire those who are not delivering. Make it clear that you value the people you work with by rem

      • Re:Daily reports (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Macgrrl (762836) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @10:56PM (#41510201)

        TL:DR beyond first paragraph. I feel much the same way about time sheets. I really hate having to justify every minute of every day. Some days' are more productive than others, sometimes letting stuff percolate in my head is the most productive thing I can be doing, but it's hard to attribute to a specific project code.

        I also get frustrated with companies that expect you to fill in time sheets at 100% utilization against billable work. When do they think admin and training gets done? I'm more effective if I can spend time planning out and prioritizing my workload, but it takes time.

    • by Frankie70 (803801)

      Every day, each employee e-mails a short report of what s/he did that day. It doesn't take too long, and it encourages mutual accountability, even if only a few co-workers read them regularly.

      Yes - that would be a great incentive. In most of my jobs, I used to think - if only they gave me the permission to write daily reports, I would have been working twice as hard & twice as good.

  • by Rivalz (1431453) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @03:11PM (#41507633)

    Not the best for productivity but best incentive that works for Secret service agents, presidents, politicians and ceo's.

  • Money (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 30, 2012 @03:12PM (#41507635)

    $ = Money

  • Its so easy . (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 30, 2012 @03:12PM (#41507637)

    Fire 'certified jerk' managers - that'll do wonders.

  • assuming that pay is fair for the tasks in question. If you know who is "slacking off," is it worth talking to them, and find out why?

    Or are they actually have some valuable downtime, breaking up their day and giving them a chance to think and refresh?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 30, 2012 @03:13PM (#41507645)

    I will skip the obvious free drinks/food/social events and financial incentives.

    When it comes to work, it is about this: Autonomy, mastery, purpose.
    Give everyone meaningful, important and challenging work, so that their head is just above the water.
    Let them be responsible for their work and reach the goal with their means and in their style as much as possible.
    Let them improve themselves by doing so, send them on courses as well.
    Automatise everything that can automated to get rid of repetitive, boring work.
    Optimise anything, and challenge people to go back to the beginning.
    Demand innovation, and allow time for it by doing "innovation time off" / "hack time" / 10 percent time.

    • From RSA Animate: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6XAPnuFjJc [youtube.com]

      Which supports your point, depending on the nature of the task.

      There are also some other somewhat differing ideas like on this Wikipedia page, especially this section:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motivation#Intrinsic_motivation_and_the_16_basic_desires_theory [wikipedia.org]

    • by stephanruby (542433) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @09:51PM (#41509893)

      First off, the free drinks and snacks are a good idea, but make sure those food items are healthy. Cut down on the sugar, the carbs, the caffeine, and the junk food (thought, do not get rid of the coffee machine, you do not want a revolt on your hands). Stock up on fresh fruits everyday. And get rid of cake day. Also, if your developers/ITs time is worth a lot of money to the company, make sure they work with the best equipment possible. Do the math and minimize the time they need to go home. Hire them a free concierge service and a free laundry service. Give them free dinners if they stay until 7 PM. Bring in subsidized car repairs, dentistry, hair cuts, remote grocery shopping, on site, to minimize the time they have to leave the company. Don't think of luxury items. Think of the every day mundane necessary things that we all have to deal with anyway.

      Also, be prepared to lead by example yourselves. If IT sees some of the top brass only showing up at 10 am and leaving at 4 pm (even if they have supposedly a good reason that others do not know about), don't expect any of them to put in 60 hours a week (I know not everyone does that, but the few that do can be a huge demoralizers to the rest of the company).

      Then, read books like "Mythical Man Month" by Brooks and "Peoplesoft" by De Marco. Make sure the entire management reads those books. Also, read books by Edward Deming, who actually recommends not to pay people individual bonuses, but team/department bonuses instead. Paying bonuses for passing exams also sounds like a bad idea (since 90% of the technical exams out there have been gamed and the answers can easily be found on torrent sites, or can be purchased for $99)

      Promote from within, not necessarily from outside. Rotate people's roles. Do not overdo the praise and the flattery when we do something that you don't understand. We're not magicians, rock stars, or wizards. Conversely, learn a little bit about the complexity of software production and IT, so that's where my recommended reading list comes in. Behavior comes from belief. Belief comes from understanding. First, it's your understanding that needs to change, before you can even hope to change the underlying understandings and behaviors of others.

      Of course, not everyone will agree with my list of suggestions, nor will you be able to implement all of those ideas, and that's fine, hopefully, you'll be able to implement at least a few ideas from our different lists of suggestions.

    • by Cederic (9623)

      Thank you for skipping the whole mercenary financial reward basis for motivation.

      I'm fucked off with idiots claiming that finance is the primary incentive. Maybe in America where everyone's hung up on using personal wealth as a measure it is, but most people working in IT earn far above average wages, can easily lead "middle class" lifestyles (tending towards above that if everyone else in your country is piss-poor).

      So you have to look beyond the financial compensation and understand what people really valu

  • easy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 30, 2012 @03:13PM (#41507647)

    rational and transparent decision making processes

    merit based rewards structure

    aggressive correction and eventual culling of counterproductive employees

    pay me enough that I can get my own massages, keep your stupid toys out of my office, and
    run an effective business

  • by Nerdfest (867930) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @03:13PM (#41507649)

    Good hardware, good monitors, good tools, allow them to pick some of their own (IDEs, OS, editors, etc). Keep up to date with technologies. Treat people like people, not "resources". After that, use some agile/XP principles like scrums to enable problems to be out in the open, and pair programming to get the weaker people improving. Give bonuses for outstanding quality and quantity of work. Listen to what people complain about and try to fix it.

  • Motivation (Score:5, Informative)

    by anavictoriasaavedra (1968822) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @03:16PM (#41507665)
  • by dkleinsc (563838) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @03:20PM (#41507689) Homepage

    If you've given people everything they could reasonably ask for, including profit share, and they still aren't performing, then chances are they're just lazy. Solution: 1. Make it clear (privately) that they are underperforming, 2. if they are still underperforming 3-6 months later, let them know that their job is at stake, and 3. if they're still underperforming 3-6 months after that, fire them.

    There are some people who will want to contribute and provide useful effort with the appropriate carrot. But if that doesn't work, use the stick.

    • by pla (258480) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @03:49PM (#41507933) Journal
      If you've given people everything they could reasonably ask for, including profit share, and they still aren't performing, then chances are they're just lazy.

      Not everyone can count as one of the stars. Yes, he should ditch the outright slackers; but the guys who just come in to do a fair day's work to get paid and go home? Sorry, but in any organization, they will form the vast majority of the workforce. Unless your entire organization can live with a "team" of one superstar, you just don't have the option of having all stars.

      As for reaching for the stick to try make people into something they can never become, it will just hurt morale for no real gain. Don't go that route. I've seen it tried several times, and it always backfires.

      Do your best to keep people happy, keep them wanting to come to work every day, and just stoically accept the fact that over half the team really doesn't give a shit outside "get the job done, get paid".
  • Give out bonuses based on performance, however measured. It works for the boss, so it's likely to work just as well for the employee.

    • by vlm (69642)

      Give out bonuses based on performance, however measured. It works for the boss, so it's likely to work just as well for the employee.

      Top performer gets to pick who does their:

      corporate massage day

      Seriously though my favorite incentive program is called money. Another thing that works well is a professional relationship... Tell me what to do, when adequate progress is made I'll be free for self directed professional development...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 30, 2012 @03:25PM (#41507733)

    You want to know why folks work their asses off to create shit for free and goof off at work when they're being paid for it?

    1. The free shit they do is shit they find interesting. Whether the programming is interesting or challenging or they are wrting software that solves a problem that means something to them.

    2. The work they are doing for your company is either unchallenging, does something meaningless in their opinion, or both.

    All the high pay, pizzas, games, massages, or any other motivational tricks you got from a book (or worse from a know-nothing managment consultant) will not work - at least over the long term.

    Here's what you do: start hiring entry level people to learn the system. The entry levels will find that work challenging and rewarding for a couple of years. You can pay them shit.

    The current crop? Start letting some of them go. The best and brightest have already left.

    That's all you can do.

  • Too much turnover? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by zephvark (1812804) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @03:26PM (#41507739)

    >Management is being more proactive...

    Ok, you're a marketing person. I'll forgive you. But never say proactive again.

    >We already have cake day, corporate massage day

    Your company obviously has too much turnover and you're trying desperately to reduce it. The problem is not going to be that you don't have enough cake days. The problem is going to be that it apparently sucks to work at your company. Cut down on the number of mandatory meetings, make sure everybody has a decent computer, get the damned boss to stop subverting the code check-in system, and... your programmers don't actually need to wear suits, do they? Stop that.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by menno_h (2670089)

      > your programmers don't actually need to wear suits, do they?

      Suit [catb.org] in the jargon file:
      suit: n.
      1. Ugly and uncomfortable ‘business clothing’ often worn by non-hackers. Invariably worn with a ‘tie’, a strangulation device that partially cuts off the blood supply to the brain. It is thought that this explains much about the behavior of suit-wearers. Compare droid.

      2. A person who habitually wears suits, as distinct from a techie or hacker. See pointy-haired, burble, management, Stupid

  • by A Friendly Troll (1017492) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @03:27PM (#41507747)

    Give them flexible working hours.

    There's nothing worse than coming to work in the morning and trying to "work" after your kid puked the entire night and you haven't had half an hour of solid sleep, or if you have a splitting headache that just refuses to go away on its own, but would likely go away if you could nap or walk for a couple of hours (depends on the person).

    IT is a line of work where flexible hours are possible. Give them that, but still keep work clocked every week.

  • Investing in IT guys (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Compaqt (1758360) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @03:28PM (#41507755) Homepage

    Although a lot of companies would like to invest in their people, and give them incentives and so forth, one big problem in the IT arena is:

    How to should you invest in your workers? I.e., send them to training. Or even let them just educate themselves about Java/Hadoop/NoSQL/whatever without working on a project for a few months. That in itself is great incentive instead of focusing on billable hours all the time.

    The desire of the company is that you're investing in the future of the developer. But the problem is once they're all well and trained, they can simply jump ship, and the company isn't able to recoup their investment.

    So what ends up happening is companies don't provide training, leading to the phenomenon of IT people having to read 2 hours of material every night just to keep up.

    • by vlm (69642)

      But the problem is once they're all well and trained, they can simply jump ship, and the company isn't able to recoup their investment.

      I call bogus. I worked at a place in the 90s that was very proud of sending all their techs to at least one class of their choice per year... they were so proud they pounded it into everyone's head that you could leave.... but you couldn't find another place that'll send you to a new class every year, so you're better off staying. Its like an extra weeks vacation, sorta? The financial aspect is a one week generic class usually didn't cost much more than a weeks salary or so. Its financially not any wors

  • by TheGreatDonkey (779189) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @03:29PM (#41507761)
    I applaud the pro-active nature of the organization on this, and appreciate your efforts to have a strong preference of carrot over stick.

    I have been managing IT Operations teams for ~10yrs now (with a rooted background in SysAdmin), and more often than not, in my own experience, it is the organizational culture that often strongly correlates to the work output of a collective team. I have worked on companies that paid absolutely ass and were not overly generous with there employees, yet people understood the purpose, the mission, and their role, and gave 110%. I have worked at companies that were more than generous with payroll and side benefits, and folks slacked off.

    Without knowing you or your background (nor the respective company), I can say that folks are often cognizant of the extremes they can get away with at work. If you (or the company as a whole) conveys an easy-going atmosphere where even the slackers are well tolerated, well, water sinks to the lowest point. This can often be detrimental to others around them, as it results in "Well if they aren't going the extra mile, why should I?" I believe just about anyone who is reading this has had that very thought cross their mind at one point or another, and it can be a valid one. Giving someone free massages, or cupcakes, or even a hooker aren't exactly motivational items - actually, they work the other way, in that encouraging folks to "take a break" from things, these same folks who even when working you are suggesting aren't putting in a sound effort.

    Solution? Again, without know you or the org, do away with the massages, and most other extraordinary benefits that cost the company money, and instead convert this to regular financial bonus incentive. Make a big point on how performance relates to money, and more times than not, I find folks will go above and beyond to earn the extra incentive. You may have a few bad apples you clearly need the stick, but between the two, I'd suggest you may be on the way to success.

    Best of luck!
  • by bmo (77928) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @03:31PM (#41507789)

    Best incentive of all:

    Treat your employees like the human beings they are and appreciate what they do for you, and pay them accordingly. The golden rule as applied to the workforce.

    It's not fucking rocket science.

    It's just that "human resources management" these days, at its core, treats employees as overhead and cost centers instead of how a business earns its money.

    --
    BMO

  • If you have workers that aren’t doing their share of the work, fire them. I'm sure you've already warned them, more than once, right? If not, it's your fault they don't do their fair share. If so, follow though with it. Hollow threats are just that. Start firing them one by one, and the rest will start to get the hint.

  • by canadian_right (410687) <alexander.russell@telus.net> on Sunday September 30, 2012 @03:34PM (#41507807) Homepage
    Sounds like some old fashioned management and coaching is required, not incentives. Management needs to talk to the under performing staff and find out what the underlying issues are and if they can be fixed. Maybe something is happening in their personal life, maybe they need training, maybe they need more challenging work?
  • stay away from poor metrics as that can trun out real bad.

    As it can become all about stuff like call times that make it better to do quick fixes / tell use to reboot and hang up.

    Number of tickers closed can lead to people banking up easy stuff to save for a slow day or having people who don't want to take on hard stuff as they are better off doing 3-4 easy tickets over say 1 hard one.

    Also stuff like that can be gamed by having some call each week for a password reset just to make your numbers.

  • by Chabil Ha' (875116) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @03:39PM (#41507841)

    The current employer I work for saddles on a lot of bureaucracy and endless, tormenting meetings. Just get out of the way and let people get their work done.

  • by Akili (1497645) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @03:45PM (#41507891)
    If you haven't come across this already, this is a good place to start: http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/print/9137708/Opinion_The_unspoken_truth_about_managing_geeks?taxonomyName=Management&taxonomyId=14 [computerworld.com]

    As an IT worker myself, one of the most difficult things I struggle with is the frequent lack of acknowledgement and respect. I don't mean simple 'thanks for helping me' responses - although those do count, and workplaces where all employees belittle IT will experience a lot of IT turnover - but for the big things. When we break out all the stops to achieve some huge project, or put in extra unpaid time - we're often salaried, after all - to help someone, the reward is sometimes to have expectations raised, rather than to understand that was an exceptional effort. That discourages us from trying so hard next time.

    It's difficult for management to understand what we do, and what they don't understand, they sometimes don't respect. Bonuses are nice, as is comp time. But I really just want to keep things working, and it is distinctly aggravating when I can't prevent a recurring problem because it requires changing the behavior of someone superior to me that doesn't care to make a change, as I'll always be there to clean up their mess. In some cases, it feels like not bothering to install toilets in a restroom because that's what the janitor is for.

    All of that said, when it comes to weeding out those that aren't contributing anything... some sort of tracking system is essential, for techs to keep tabs on what they've done. They'll rightfully treat it with skepticism if such a system comes from On High, as the plausible reasoning is to find out how much they can shrink the department. But when brought in with the cooperation of the staff and their immediate management, it can be trusted more. It's also a tool to demonstrate to upper management just how much work we ARE doing, and to justify extra manpower. Simply saying that you need an extra hand often goes nowhere, since IT is frequently seen as a money pit.

    And, of course, listen to the techs, the experienced ones in particular. They're the ones that can feel that a piece of software isn't working properly, or that a piece of infrastructure is not up to the task. You don't need to do what they're talking about, but consider their opinion. They're here to understand, fix, and instruct people in how to use technology. Knowing that they're being heard, and seeing visible changes in response to that feedback, does a lot to make a tech feel valued.
  • by MindPrison (864299) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @03:53PM (#41507953) Journal

    There are two things that motivate me, and the one can't do without the other, both motivation condition must be met for me to thrive at work:

    1) A good salary, so I can work and save towards my biggest dreams, I have to have something to chase.

    2) An interesting assignment, an interesting project. This is what makes me WANT to go to work every day.

    Here is what works, and what doesn't work:
    What doesn't work:
    Telling me that every job is interesting, and that I should be interested when I am not.
    Faking interest.
    Fake team spirit. (I'd like to work with MOTIVATED co-workers that actually take a great interest in their job, passion if you like!)
    Fake motivation. Don't even try, your employees can see through you like you're made of glass, the only reason they smile at your ideas are that you are directly responsible for their paychecks.

    What DOES work:
    Honesty, above all. Always be 100% honest towards your employees, fail at this, and we will be sure to look elsewhere, and one day you'll fail severely because your ego blinds your eyes. So keep honest, always share everything, don't fake, lie or hide. People are more forgiving than you may think.
    Interesting projects. What's interesting to you may not be that interesting to me, sure - I am a professional, so I'll do the job regardless, but don't ask me to fake interest. Just trust me that I'll do a good job anyway, because I can and will...which brings us to the next level:
    Trust me, trust your employees. The single best thing you can do for your employees are to really trust them. If they deliver, they deliver, nothing magical about that. We're all in this boat called YOUR Company anyway, and no one of us have ANY interest in letting it sink, so why should we perform worse if you don't constantly nag, create reports and call into personal meetings?
    Don't believe that we'll sit there and surf the web because we really want to surf the web, this is something most of us can do at home, and if we do it at work, it is to relieve stress, and to keep up to date with an otherwise perhaps important network...yes...this could potentially be your next employee even. Many of us keep up to date with technology this way, we're paid professionals, just don't expect us to do that work at home too, we do it because it's our passion. Force is NOT the way.

    Remember, a little understanding *and DO NOT TRY TO FAKE UNDERSTANDING* will go a really long way. Most IT workers are above average when it comes to intelligence (albeit, in some cases...one can really dispute and wonder about this). So when you try to explain to us why you have to cut back on bonuses, perks or whatever - tell the TRUTH, especially if you know the truth is going to sting a bit, if we discover that you lied, oh boy...mistake!

    That's it really, some clean honesty.

  • by aitikin (909209) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @03:56PM (#41507975)
    If there's one thing that I've learned from my time in management positions after being in non-management positions, it's that incentives have to be personalized. I've given someone a 50 dollar bonus and saw no productivity increase, and given the same person a gift certificate for a pizza outing for her family, and she was overwhelmed with appreciation, as well as a major increase in productivity for the week following the gift certificate.

    Reason being, she couldn't spend the 50 bucks on anything she wanted when she was a single mom who had to spend time with her kids every night and figure out dinner when she came home from work. When I didn't know she was a single mother, I didn't give her any incentive that she'd respond to. Knowing that she was a single mother, meant I could give her an incentive that she knew she'd be able to use and would make her life easier or better.

    Until you can give your employees something that will help them out personally, they're just going to see that as a bonus, not a motivator. Give your management some leeway on what they give as an incentive, while you focus on the why . This forces your management to know their personnel somewhat personally, allows them to look good for giving the people something specifically useful to them, the company for giving management enough leeway, and the employee will want to earn incentives that (s)he knows is useful to them.
  • Drive (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Kevster (102318) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @03:59PM (#41507995)

    Generally, three things motivate people:

      1. Autonomy - can they at least sometimes discover something on their own that needs doing/fixing and go ahead and do it without okaying it with management?
      2. Mastery - can they devote enough time to new things (e.g. technology) to feel that they are learning something *and* spending enough time on it to lead to mastery?
      3. Purpose - do they have a sense of belonging to something larger than themselves (as opposed to in name only: "there are six people in this group, therefore they are a team!")

    These things drive most people and are completely lacking in my workplace. Search YouTube for "RSA Animate drive" for a better description than I gave.

  • by realmolo (574068) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @04:16PM (#41508095)

    Pay them more money.

    Anything else is an insult to their intelligence. "Cake Day"? Jesus. Are you fucking kidding?

  • by Todd Knarr (15451) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @04:17PM (#41508099) Homepage

    It sounds like it's a management/supervisory issue here. Start by looking at the workload and results of the "slackers". Are they being given as much work as everybody else, and managing to get it done and still have time to "slack off"? If so, let them. The reward for getting your work done well and quickly's that you get free time. If they're not being given as much work as others, take a look at the workloads with an eye towards shifting things around. And if they're being given work and not getting it done, well, that's nothing special and your managers should already know how to talk to the employees about that problem.

    Sometimes you won't be able to even out the workloads. Different people have different specialties, and sometimes the current workload just puts more work in some areas than others. That's only a problem if it's a persistent thing, with some people overloaded all the time and others with not enough to do. In that case, you need to shift people around to learn different parts of the system so they can help where it's needed. That'll take time, just acknowledge that they're learning a new area and won't be nearly as productive right off the bat as they would be if they already knew it inside-out.

    And finally, acknowledge that slack time isn't a bad thing. Emergencies happen, problems crop up unexpectedly, and it's not a bad thing to have people free who can jump in and take up a problem without diverting time from scheduled work. It only becomes a problem if it's unbalanced and it's always the same people with free time. Again, that's a standard management issue of making sure the workload isn't uneven.

    As for motivation, two things. First, pay. The single best way to motivate professional employees is to pay them for their work. Make sure your pay rates are good for your area and the job. And take a look at your annual raise policies. Inflation runs around 2-3%. If your company's routinely handing out raises less than that, your employees are going to be unhappy because their standard of living's slowly eroding. Words and such are nice, but at the end of the day the bills have to be paid and pats on the back and free cake at work don't pay the electric bill or the rent. Second, respect. Upper management expects employees to respect them even if those employees don't understand what management's doing. So show the same respect in return. If you as a manager don't understand the tech, don't sit there and contradict your IT and software-development people when they tell you what they think the best way to approach something is. Even if you've heard something from some consultant, remember that your IT people know your business and your systems better than that consultant (and the consultant isn't going to be on the hook if things go badly, he's already got his money). If what they're saying isn't what you want to hear, give them the simple respect of assuming they aren't just being jerks, they have good reasons for saying what they're saying and they know what they're doing in their field. If you don't think they are, then start tracking it. When things come up, note down who had what opinions. Then, after everything's done and you can look back on the actual results, note who was right and who was wrong and how badly. And if your IT department has a track record of being right more often than anyone else and someone comes in and says "The IT department just don't understand the business needs.", ask yourself what your IT people are going to think if you agree.

  • by sillivalley (411349) <<ten.tsacmoc> <ta> <yellavillis>> on Sunday September 30, 2012 @05:04PM (#41508347)
    No, the other kind...

    Simple, straightforward, honest thanks for getting the job done, particularly in times of limited resources and increasing demands.

    Of course this implies management that knows what's going on, who is doing it, and actually gives a sh*t. That may be a problem.

    But even in that situation, you can help your cow-orkers by letting them know when they've done a good job; recognition by your peers can be a big help.
  • Money (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gelfling (6534) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @05:22PM (#41508443) Homepage Journal

    Anything that is not money is not an incentive. For example; no money, no training, no promotion, no job mobility, are not in fact incentives. Also yearly or semi annual self appraisals where every single bullet item is handed to you by management and then you're supposed to write a book report on each one 'quantifying' even though that's impossible to do, on how strenuously you adhere to the corporate goals, that's not an incentive either. And of course when you're done with that massive effort and the manager gets everyone together for a team review and the bottom line is that there's no money and no one's getting an increase again, for the 12th year in a row, that's not an incentive either. And when you don't allow lateral movement in the company because you have no ability to fill that job vacancy because we're all such special snowflakes and unless you find your own replacement, who in turn has to find their own replacement and so on, you can't even apply for that job, that's not an incentive either.

    But mostly it's about money. Don't let anyone con you. My former CEO was given a 41 million dollar bonus in his next to last year for sending 50,000 US jobs to Asia and his retirement agreement is worth hundreds of millions of dollars. The VP level officers of this company are millionaires, on paper. But these losers can't even reimburse the staff for their home office expenses like a telephone. So it's just about the money. Get as much money as you can for as long as you can and don't pay attention to any stupid team building bullshit or internal conventions or seminars on feeling good about feeling good about it. And always remember; HR is your enemy. Their job is to hate you and treat you like shit so you leave and they can replace you with someone 10 cents cheaper if they even replace you at all. Because to them the perfect company is one with zero employees. You're nothing but an overpriced replaceable part to them.

    Money. It's about the money. Real money - cash or stocks that can be sold that day. Options aren't money. Promises aren't money. Fake job titles aren't money. Deferred comp contingent on you growing a fucking unicorn horn on your head in the year 2031 aren't money. And to be brutally honest, not even pensions are money - not any more. More and more companies are wriggling their way out of paying those too. So fuck them and sweet sounding bullshit they blather. It's the money. Documented in writing put in your hand money.

    Except no fucking substitutes.

  • by Simonetta (207550) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @06:11PM (#41508729)

    There are only four motivators for human behavior including writing good software. They are:
      Money
      Sex
      Power
      Fear

    Money: Figure out the minimum amount of money your programmer will NEED to continue to work for you writing your code. Start him at 50% higher than that number. IF version 1.0 works, then increase his salary to 100% more than the minimum amount that he needs.

    Sex: Hire lots of cute young girls without husbands to work in your office. *Very sensitively* approach the subject to them that they can earn signifiant salary bonuses if they have inter-office affairs with the programmers. If you're not sure how to approach this subject sensitively then don't bring it up all, even as a joke. You don't need any sexual harassment lawsuit and the young ladies will probably figure your company policy out by themselves.

    Power: Every dork programmer had some asshole in high school bully them. Tell your programming staff that if version 1.0 ships without major programming errors then you'll hire some local goons to track down the jerks who made their lives miserable and beat the fuck out them. All on high-definition video for their entertainment (or as supplemental erotic stimulation while they're boffing the administrative assistants)

    Fear: Joseph Stalin told the nuclear physicists of the Soviet Union in 1946 that they would either deliver an atomic bomb in five years or spend the rest of their sweet short lives in the Arctic Salt Mine Gulag. He got his bomb. Then gave 'hero of the Soviet motherland' medals to all of them. He killed about 10000000 people and died peacefully in his sleep. He understood Fear.

  • by lightknight (213164) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @06:23PM (#41508791) Homepage

    Pay them more. It's the difference between a network admin needing to leave work by 4 PM to pick up his kids from soccer practice, because his family only has one car, and a slightly more flexible work routine (something which business can be blind to until a real crisis appears, then it becomes a choice of trying to put out the fire in the data center or having your kids hold this against you for the rest of your life). When the difference s $10,000 / year vs. $4,000,000 / hour, many of the people who manage to make it upstairs (and stay there) tend to choose the less expensive option.

    You'd be amazed at the size of the Titanic-style crisis that has bankrupted many a mid-to-large corporation because they spent more time trying to make things lean in IT than paying attention to the screams of those in IT ("Why do we need all these blue cables? They're just laying around in boxes, all over the place. Tell IT that in the future, if they want any more of these blue cables, they need to submit paperwork to Accounting and setup a meeting with me." or "Why are we paying so much money for an internet connection? I have a cable / DSL connection at home, and it's more than fast enough. I'll get those Comcast guys out here next Tuesday to replace this 'T-3' we seem to be paying so much money for."). "What is it with IT, and their constant spending of money? They just keep spending, spending, and spending on toys and stuff. They need to learn how to budget things better, and only buy the things they really need."

    Okay, I'm done for now.

  • by cowtamer (311087) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @08:31PM (#41509481) Journal

    There are two things you can do which will matter

    1) Don't disincentivize -- If an employee is willing to put in 55 hours, pay immediately for 55 hours of work. Don't make it "bounty pay" or "year end bonus" or some other form of unpaid overtime or delayed reward. This is rare and a great boon for a motivated developer.

    2) Do a variant of what Google does -- allow people to work on prototypes and proofs of concept (of their own choosing, perhaps vetted by the company) either on company time or their own time. Provide a wide (and serious) audience for such demonstrations (a monthly "demo pitch" meeting for the whole company, perhaps). We would MUCH rather do something that might matter than read (or write on) Slashdot. It's the promise of achieving something larger than themselves which keeps the more interesting developers going. (The ones doing it solely for the paycheck are unlikely to be good. If they are, see #1). While the main purpose of this would be to keep your employees interested and focused on your company, you are bound to end up with several interesting and worthwhile projects in the end -- projects which you could NOT have bought with money alone.
    (One of the most valuable experiences I've had in my career was such an opportunity given to us by a forward thinking company owner).

  • by MrKaos (858439) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @09:22PM (#41509749) Journal
    Seriously - don't hire assholes
  • As a consultant... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Burning1 (204959) on Monday October 01, 2012 @01:43PM (#41515583) Homepage

    As a consultant, I've had the opportunity to see a lot of different environments over the past 10 year or so. Here are the things that stand out to me the most:

    First and foremost, get your shit together. No amount of workplace benefits will make up for a dysfunctional working environment. You can offer the worlds best benefits, but if people are stressed out at work, and constantly beating their heads against the wall to get things done, they aren't going to want to work there.

    That will tend to attract people:

    1. Competitive salary, and benefits. This is basic. You may have a fully stocked snack bar, but ultimately, people want work to support the rest of their lives. Fun environment, cheap wages works great for the people who are new to the industry. Vets are probably more interested in a competitive employment package.

    2. Growth opportunities. Promoting from within, offering opportunities to people who have the passion and talent, but perhaps not every bullet point on the job listing, is a good way to get up and coming talent in the door. If someone thinks that your company will take their career the way they want it to go, they are much more likely to want to work with you.

    3. Training opportunities. Certifications, etc. can be time consuming and expensive. A good educational program is a great way to keep people at the company, and also to upskill your employees. This is a great selling point.

    4. Opportunities to pursue ideas. Having a lab, or equipment dedicated to trying new stuff is also a good way to attract and maintain talent. Anyone who has passion has a technology they want to get their hands on. Virtualization makes offering this easy. Giving people the opportunity to sell and prove their ideas is huge.

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