People Over Profit
Many tech companies preach about how they put their people over profit but not many put that into practice. They often use it as a way to attract the right developers but it certainly is not a way to retain them as the companies policies and procedures are not human-centred.
The bottom line: is the reason companies exist; investors do not want to put cash in a business to grow people, they are looking for the best possible financial return on their investment. So how does one say that their people are more important than their profit?
This is what happens when you chase profit:
Innovation is throttled:
When the focus is solely on making profit then shortcuts are found. Developing their employees is seen as a less important task because there is a job that needs to be done and people are seen as expendable. If the employee leaves, then he/she would just be replaced by another bum in the seat.
This leads to less risk being taken by the employee as they do not want to have their solution fail and them feeling under-appreciated or that they might not have a job anymore. If a company treats their employees as nothing more than a line item, then they will get only what is required from their staff, the bare minimum. They will save their great ideas for somebody who values them.
Employee Retention goes out the window:
There are far more positions for developers than there are developers in the world. If a company treats their employees poorly, or does not focus enough on their personal growth, then they will leave with the first recruiter who comes knocking on their LinkedIn door.
The company’s reputation suffers:
Developers from different companies are often at the same meetup or the same event and they will certainly chat about what’s happening in the industry. If you treat your development team as nothing more than a means to make more money, other developers will find out. This makes attracting the right developers harder especially with some of the online reviews we’ve seen recently.
Sloppy work increases:
Developers are staying around long enough to become masters in your environment, and nobody is there to train new developers. This leads to increased stress as mistakes will naturally creep in and somebody has to take the blame.
Disengagement and demotivation descend upon the ranks:
Employees who are not motivated will not go the extra mile, which will not drive a higher profit for the company. They are absent more; productivity will be at an all-time low and they will certainly not have much loyalty.
So how can you put people into focus rather than profit?
Review the companies’ policies - are they put in place to drive the employees in an archaic way or are they designed to bring the best out of each developer?
Take a look at the incentives that are in place, could they be more geared towards innovation or are they in place to purely reward hard work and longer hours?
What development opportunities are offered to the employees, do you encourage growth and development, or do you provide the platform for them to learn and grow?
There needs to be a shift from “how much in dividends do we pay our investors?” to “have we created a company where a problem is solved and where people are valued and appreciated?”.