More than Money.
Offering salaries and raises alone does not necessarily make a good employee. According to Dan Pink’s TED Talk, monetary rewards increase performance, but only when tasks are straightforward and use very little, if any, thought. When tasks require thinking outside of the box and cognitive skills, monetary incentives have been found to actually decrease performance. In order to promote innovative thought and drive employees on an internal level, we give them goals. Autonomy, mastery, purpose: the same three elements that Dan Pink believes breed motivation and happiness. Taken separately, they mean little but when their powers combine create Captain Planet! No, that’s not right, what they really make is a happy, trustworthy, knowledgeable, and independent Metovian.
When a new employee joins us, there is often a steep learning curve. Starting out, they are introduced to our tools, developers, and other resources. Their work attendance, interaction with customers, and general work ethic is monitored, albeit loosely. Questions are answered readily and hands are held for the first few weeks at Metova. Many of our new hires are recent college graduates and Metova is their first foray into the working world. Setting them up to succeed is of utmost importance.
Soon, the fledgling developers are kicked out of the nest to more or less fend for themselves. Questions are responded to with more questions. Did you Google the problem? Did you check Confluence (our wiki)? Did you check stack overflow? It may sound harsh to some, but giving a person the answer to their question when they are capable of finding it themselves will not help them solve the next one. Metovians are taught to think on their own and use the tools around them.
Once Metovians are able to think on their own, communicate effectively with the team, and effectively use their resources, they are considered autonomous. With autonomy come extra privileges such as working remotely or setting their own schedule. Gaining the knowledge and trust to be autonomous is something that all employees, not just the ones at Metova, crave.
Once an employee can stand on his own, he can begin to expand his knowledge and work to master his craft. When this stage is reached, the rest of the team appears as a plethora of experienced brains, made for tapping. When difficult issues arise, there is likely someone nearby that has hit the same wall and can offer insight in how to overcome it. There is always more that can be learned, and Metova is eager to promote it. Metova caters many of the internal sessions our employees create to discuss new tools or best practices. If additional resources such as books, software, or hardware are needed by employees to expand or improve their craft, they will be purchased. When it comes to bettering oneself, Metova will work to help you reach your goals.
What makes a person tick? What motivates them?
Feeling useless and stagnant are downfalls to happy, productive people. It is important that employees feel like they are making progress and there is a purpose to their efforts. Developers can see their progress easily as they add more and more features to create a working application. Clients give them daily or weekly feedback on their work. Managers have numeric values added to their efforts in order to measure and improve them.
Metova’s goal is to make money by creating happy customers. One could say that our employee’s purpose is to help Metova reach that goal. Oftentimes, employee’s purposes feed into Metova’s or vice versa. Many of our employees are passionate about their work and doing it effectively helps fulfill their purpose. For some, Metova serves only as a stepping stone in a much larger picture.
Talking with employees and knowing their hopes and dreams puts Metova in a unique position to help create a path to fulfill their purpose. Kassim wanted to see the world. Details were ironed out and Kassim became one of the first remote developers, traveling from city to city and working with his toes in the sand. Others like Bo wanted to return to school and Metova set up his projects to work around classes. If Metova is in a position to help an employee reach their dreams and fulfill their purpose, it will be done.
Encouraging employees to become autonomous, masterful, and purposeful is incredibly important to Metova. Metovians are independent, driven experts. By nurturing and pushing each other to be the best, we are building not only wonderful individuals, but also a kick-ass team.
Go with a company full of knowledgeable, ambitious people.