Tech teams are often seen as detached or uninterested in the rest of the business which can create deep divides and deviations from business strategies. Mavericks are common place in tech teams who push the boundaries, often because of a very black and white view point that they are very sure to be correct. Techies are often very loyal to their product or immediate team but not to the business. This can create tensions, lack of direction and understanding of the business need and the team requirements and ultimately issues with how fit for purpose the output is.
Often also, rewards and benefits structures are tailored to the rest of the business and at the least don’t resonate with the tech teams and at works actively demotivate them as I have explored previously - “Why can’t I have that software tool due to budget restraints that would make my job 10 times easier, instead of an ice cream for everyone?”.
Social interactions in meetings rather than a focus on formality and outcome can be frustrating for task orientated people. When you know you will be working until Midnight on a service that can only be taken out of action out of hours, time wasted earlier in the day is valuable sleeping time being stolen from you by your peers. Fixed working hours force hugely long and frustrating shifts on to tech teams in times of implementation or crisis and lack of flexibility creates resentment and a feeling that the business doesn’t value or sometimes even know what they do.
With increasing migrant workers in the tech sector on highly skilled visas, the cultural differences are often wildly underestimated. If you don’t drink, a beer at your desk on a Friday afternoon is not of interest and the peer pressure to partake quite uncomfortable. Dogs in the office to some is highly unsavoury. A prayer room may seem like a necessity only for large companies but in an SME with a large migrant worker base, this is often more necessary than a ‘break-out space’ or ping pong table but you rarely see them. These cultural differences layered up with the other points of difference above can create huge divides between teach teams and the wider business which often becomes an HR team challenge to resolve.
Using team coaching with the tech team and wider teams it works with can tease out these differences and help establish an understanding of the ‘why’ behind each. Connecting everyone on a more self and group aware basis helps create more tailored and less broad-brush approaches to everyday business as usual activities such as meetings, rewards, environmental set up etc. Sometimes conscious detachment in some areas such as environment and process can create a much stronger connection between the tech team and business in areas such as strategic vision and values. Facilitating open and honest discussions through the support of coaching in and outside of the team is the first step to this.
For more information on how a tailored programme from my team coaching partnership Dynamic Connections Coaching could help your teams and businesses create more alignment and understanding, please get in touch.