Once upon a time, QA pro had been doing a bunch of hardcore testing sessions. That very moment he understood that it’s not enough for him. The feeling of lassitude replaced previous joy and excitement about his job. This sounds like a good start of a modern scarecrow, but in fact, it happens in real life of QA experts.
On such a dynamically changing labor market, where every company fights for professionals, it is very hard to retain them for a long period. Forbes, yet, claims that the average employee tenure was 4,5 years in 2014. The situation has not changed much since then, as the labor statistics of the US showed 4,2 years in 2016. Speaking exactly of the IT field, you are more likely to meet job hoppers here, who come to your office already with a plan to leave soon. Especially it refers to the younger ambitious professionals, Deloitte says. The question is - how to motivate testers if you are a business owner?
We will answer this question today and in order for you to understand why we know what we are talking about, here is a couple of words. Our QA department unites 160+ engineers with 250 devices for manual and automation testing. Many members of our pro squad stay with us for more than 5 years, which is a big number for IT field. With 17 years of experience on the tech market, we applied different approaches and ways of motivating testers. High wages, perks and covering travel costs are not working as a strong motivator anymore. In terms of smart budgeting, it is not possible to raise these expenses on a constant basis. This means you have to be more inventive when it comes to the point when your geeks want to leave. Besides salary increase, there are other ways to motivate QA team. Today we share the most successful ideas on how to do that, relying on our experience and successfully established employee loyalty program.
Motivate software testing team with new technologies
It is good when QA experts can deal with any type of technology, but it’s just unreal. Keeping up with the times is crucial in IT field. There are specific cases when the use of quite old, but stable technologies can be beneficial for the project. However, in terms of overall ranks on the tech market - it may lower the level of software testing company’s expertise. The thing is, the faster your company adapts to working with the newest languages and frames, the more competitive and demanded its services will be. It usually helps in motivating testers and developers, since working with the latest trends significantly broadens their expertise.
Bringing new technology may help motivate Quality Assurance team because obtaining new skills boosts not only qualification but also self-esteem. Adding to that, it is great to assist your QAs in getting international certificates, proving their high levels of knowledge. For example, many members of our team are already certified by ISTQB platform, Acquia, and IBM, also showing expertise in the Zend framework, Scrum methodology, analytics, and more.
Motivate QA team by growing
The company grows as projects get bigger and more serious clients come for services. Hence, growth may also become one of the ways to motivate QA team. When you are planning a massive project, it serves as a challenge to the company. It is also a push for a personal development, even if your Quality Assurance experts haven’t realized that yet. They may feel overloaded with more responsibility, but the best solution to help them get the most out of the complex mission is mentorship. Smart implementation of this process will be profitable for both: tech leads and their mentees. More qualified professionals will have a chance to share their knowledge with less experienced colleagues and free their time to work on global tasks. For the young experts, mentorship may serve as a great opportunity to learn from failures and mistakes, thus being a so-called push to achieve higher heights.
How to motivate testers even more? While they can learn from colleagues, it is also nice to include in-house meetings and educational events to their personal development. As practice shows, short-term trainings are much more productive than yearly extension courses. The thing is, even if they don’t learn much during the specific event, they still will be able to get the dose of inspiration to learn and improve the existing set of skills.
Show your QA experts that you value them
People, who work with techs all the time are usually quite introvert unless they hear a conversation that catches attention. If this smart guy has something to say, for example, about the newest ways of testing the mobile app, it would be sensible to listen carefully and show interest in the subject. The moment you notice development and testing teams colliding in a group for talking - be aware, it’s a miracle and an absolute sign that soon you’ll be suggested with heaps of new ideas. In order to motivate Quality Assurance team to bring you a bunch of suggestions on a regular basis, ask your employees to arrange meetups, where they can discuss the latest issues and agenda. As long as every opinion is valuable, even better would be not only gathering testers, but developers, PMs and Marketing managers as well.
Technical experts are usually very inventive, so when they push a couple of valuable concepts on the new project, respect and gratefulness are the keys to motivate software testing team bring you more. Feeling of appreciation is very pleasant, it may boost zest to work, especially when the acknowledgment comes from the team lead or PM. You may push this idea to them, in order to work out this approach so it is performed automatically. These are simple truths, but they play a particularly important part in building healthy working environment.
Corporate culture of software testing company
Motivating testers with comfy working space
A comfortable working environment may not be the most important thing for everyone, but these days it usually appears on the employee’s list of demanded things. We averagely spend 160 hours a month working, while you have to sleep for 240 hours at least, and it leaves you with only 320 hours of free time from the total 720. Hence, people spend one-third of their lives working, which means, pleasant corporate culture is crucial. Whether you create a super-modern sci-fi interior in the office or just provide employees with a gaming room - the main goal is to make everybody want to come to work. Covering in-house conveniences also may influence the overall atmosphere in a good way. Employees are proved to be satisfied and more productive when they don’t need to spend their own money on sports, medical insurance, training, memberships on various tech platforms, and so on.
QA experts with the same values
Communicating with colleagues more than with friends throughout life becomes a reason for bosses all over the world to pay particular attention to who exactly works in their companies. Smartly picking experts plays an important role in motivating testers, since they have to collaborate on the humanly and professional levels. It is worth specific attention, because a tester, who is surrounded with people of the same life values is always more inspired than one, who has to deal with having kittens on the everyday basis.
Teambuilding is significant in motivating testers
Thriving corporate culture can definitely upswing moods on the office premises, yet the ability to work remotely also helps to recharge. Teambuilding is definitely not about engineers. Sooner you get it - easier it will be for everyone. They’d rather sit quietly and write an outstanding piece of code instead of having fun with the others. Still, there are ways how you can motivate QA team to interact: throw video gaming championships, cinema-like evenings with cool movies on a projector, or gather all your geeks on the hackathons. As long as it is something that your employees enjoy doing, it will work out as a 100% motivator.
In order to motivate software testing team even more, flexible working hours are essential. Testers are more likely to successfully perform on your project during their personal peak productive hours, rather than during forced ones. However, you need to keep an eye on clients’ time zones, because it is good when dedicated teams’ working hours match them.
Judging from our own experience, motivating testers is a challenging, but possible task to complete. Even though it demands constant attention, we can claim that QAs and developers are professional and enthusiastic people. They are usually very fun to work with, if their inspiration level is high. In case everything possible is done for their convenience, Quality Assurance experts are willing to work hard, cooperate with colleagues and improve their own skillset to perform even better in the future. If you want to find out more about how we motivate our software testing and development teams or the ways we work with them, feel free to contact us.
Created: 01 Nov 2017
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