Nearly every aspect of the software development process is accelerating, from the increasing speed of programming languages to the expectation of faster delivery. This has resulted in the misconception that speed and efficiency should be a DevOps team’s or engineer’s top priority. Though agile transformations have been a central strategy for most organizations in recent years, investing in team culture while undergoing an agile overhaul is paramount to overall success.
For many workers, the pandemic caused a shift in priorities, so much so that as we begin to emerge from the events of the last two years, almost a quarter of UK workers are planning job changes and businesses are tackling the so-called Great Resignation. A desire to improve work-life balance and enjoy better benefits like flexible working has made employees more likely to leave a job. As such, maintaining employee satisfaction and protecting team mental health should be a top priority for companies wanting to keep retention rates high.
This starts with leadership, and engineering and DevOps leaders must have full transparency into their teams, with an understanding of exactly what motivates them. With this in mind, here are three top priorities for engineering and DevOps leaders in 2022.
1. Prioritize Team Culture
The tech sector is notorious for a high employee turnover rate, with a LinkedIn report putting it at 13.2%, far above other industries. For engineers especially, the increased pressure to deliver at lightning speed has created an unsustainable “churn and burn” culture.
Simultaneously, engineers have no shortage of options when it comes to job prospects as demand is booming. In fact, this particular sector in England and Wales advertised More job vacancies in 2021 than all British businesses across 2020.
To avoid any leavers, it’s important for engineering leaders to establish a unique and engaging culture within their teams, and actively and continuously examine it to ensure that engineers feel supported and valued.
However, there are a few key principles shared across world-class engineering teams. Allowing engineers to work on projects that excite them and allow them to explore their creativity is crucial. This may involve giving them dedicated time to work on developing their skills and pursuing innovative projects. In addition, leaders should cultivate a culture for their engineering teams that is built around appreciation, collaboration and psychological safety. Weaving open and honest career discussion and satisfaction check-ins into one-on-one meetings will help employees feel listened to and motivated by their personal progression.