Humans by nature are meant to keep learning and growing.
Think of how absorbent a child’s mind is when they are growing, everything is new and there are many firsts, right from the first time they feel ice to the first time they taste ice cream. When was the last time your development team tasted a new ice cream? Especially if they are maintaining a product instead of developing a green fields project.
Now, we know that a company cannot keep their development team working on a brand-new project from inception phase, but what about allowing them to experience something new on the regular to keep them stimulated. Humans seek new experiences constantly whether it’s travel or a new restaurant.
Here are 5 ways in which you can keep your development team stimulated.
1. Encourage them to participate in community driven events / meetups.
2. Foster an attitude of “there is always a better way” and allow them to explore and present their ideas to the rest of the team.
3. If you have multiple products or departments, then allow for knowledge sharing through interdepartmental building days where they are mixed in with other developers and tasked with building something cool without any parameters in place.
4. Allow for time to learn within the workplace. We have seen companies who set aside time for learning and enforce it. They even specify in their job specs that 10% of their workday will be dedicated to learning on the platform of their choice and on the topic of their choice. Stimulation does not arise from only learning about things that apply to their job.
5. Do not silo them entirely in the development role, allow them the freedom to understand how the different departments work. For example, a developer who understands the customer better from a marketing perspective may build a product or feature that might be more customer focused and add more value to the end user.