If you’re planning on growing your tech team in 2017, here are some insights, tips and advice revolving around growth and setting the scene to accommodate it internally. We hope this will help you along the way.
How you can take your tech business to the next level…
To get to the next level, you’ll need a plan. Sounds simple, but a business strategy is not something that just happens. Chris Thurling defines business strategy as being about how you get from where you are now to a desirable point in the future making the best use of the means you have available. The heart of strategy is crafting choices: about what your business will and won’t do, which customers you serve and which you don’t, and where you will devote resources and where you won’t.
You might think you need some help with getting your tech business to where you want to be. A non-executive director, mentor or coach could help in that case. Each being able to provide guidance in different ways.
A non-executive director’s (NED) role is to be an objective ‘critical friend’ to a company, to provide advice in areas where he or she has particular experience and expertise. They are a sounding board for the overall company strategy. On the other hand, mentoring is about trusted guidance: passing on experience and expertise based on a strong and usually long-term mentor-mentee relationship. Whereas coaching uses carefully crafted questions to skillfully tease out the answers to a coachee’s challenges; unlocking their potential and helping them to learn rather than teaching them.
So all of the above could help you with taking your tech team or business to the next level, but in very different ways.
Is it time to change the way you work and the environment you offer your tech team?
As a tech business you are quite likely one of those that innovates as a whole, to grow, but is ‘innovation’ baked into everything you do? Do you force change? Do you meet your client and customer needs in an innovative way?
“Does your organisation offer a safe environment in which people can try out ideas and learn from their mistakes?”
Some bosses seem to think that if they just get some more creative people in place then their business will be more innovative, but that’s not quite true. We’re all natural problem solvers, but we need the right conditions in which to innovate and take new solutions through to implementation. Does your organisation offer those conditions, a safe environment in which people can try out ideas and learn from their mistakes?
This doesn’t just refer to the physical work environment. Offices are changing and it may be time to update the ‘employee experience’ within your organisation to accommodate growth. You’ll want to create an environment that people want to work in, that’s how you attract great people and top talent and enable the team to achieve to its full potential.
Another one to consider that can make a massive difference on a day-to-day basis are workplace ‘rules’. Do you impose some for your business and tech team? It might be time to evaluate if they actually support the aims of the business, the needs of your customers and clients or key stakeholders. If not: it might be time to simplify, to remove unnecessary ones as they may be holding back your business.
Time to add some perks?
To accommodate growth you’ll need to grow your team. An obvious one. To attract scarce top tech talent, offering an appropriate pay package has to be a given. But the deciding factor is often what you offer beyond that, it can come down to benefits and perks if offer A is chosen over offer B. Think “career development, work-life balance, working environment” – what can you offer?
Make sure you make newly added talent feel welcome…
Congratulations, you have added someone new to your tech business or your tech team. They tick all the boxes when it comes to behaviours and cultural fit, you are on track to innovate and to grow. But you need to ensure that you are holding onto those that you’ve added.
Make them feel welcome. Be prepared for them before they start and also on their first day. Make their first day special and ensure that they have everything they need.
Check in regularly. One that is not just essential in the beginning.