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Get your Developers to be Emotionally Invested in Their Projects

When organizations successfully engage their workers, they experience a 240% boost in performance-related business outcomes.

To fully engage your development team, you should strive to get them emotionally invested in their projects. Here are some tips on how to do this:

  • The process starts with you.  To build an emotional investment in a project, requires that you believe in it 100%.  This will “rub off” on others.  Talk about the project with knowledge, clarity and passion.  When you let the development team see how much you believe in the project, they will believe in it to.
  • Be knowledgeable, serious and committed. Do some research and have some solid knowledge on what you want to create.  Work to build a solid relationship with everyone involved in the project, and keep the lines of communication open.  People (in general) like working with others who are serious, educated and dedicated.
  • Ask for advice and input. Being educated about the project does not mean that you should never ask questions.  The developers working on the project know the product better than anyone else, so why not ask and actively listen to their answers?  They are in the best position to make suggestions on how to solve or avoid workarounds.  Even if they do not have anything else to add to the conversation, they will feel like a true part of the team just by being asked.
  • Lighten the load, if possible.  Stress can hinder development.  Too many design decisions or too many solution options can make it hard to know what to do next.  Use the buddy system on difficult tasks.  Assign another person – a “back up brain” if you will- for complex tasks so developers have someone to talk to and bounce ideas off of.  Communication and collaboration reduce stress for everyone involved.
  • Put a face to everyone’s name. Emotional investments require emotional connections.  Therefore, when your support team sends out communications letting people know about any bug fix or new features, make sure the developer that was involved is mentioned and/or CC’d.  This puts a human name (and face) to all the people involved in the project.

All employees want to work on interesting, innovative projects.  This includes developers, programmers and other members of the IT staff.  When you create an environment where your staff has an emotional attachment to the project they are working on, mediocre software falls by the wayside.

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