Your website is the business face you present to the online community: thinking about having a lift? Hiring and retaining talented tech employees to your team is essential to improving your technological operations, but it can be tough to bring the best and brightest in when applicants aspire to auspicious positions at HUGE, Microsoft and even Google. Luckily for business owners, economic uncertainty has created a buyer’s market for HR departments: droves of recent grads and underemployed members of the tech profession are willing to cut their teeth in under the radar operations. Read on for five ways to make your office culture more tech team member friendly and add new tech members to your team.

  1. Pony Up. Sure, you could continue to hire freelancers and subcontract your tech needs to independent agents. It’s certainly less expensive. But by adding a tech team member to your staff at full time salary, you cause the person performing your tech operations to become fully integrated into your business: in short, you give them a reason to care about their contribution beyond a project-by-project basis.Can’t afford to add a new full-time member to your team? While you continue to work toward that goal, work closely with your contractors and work to build an opportunity for their potential with your business. If you want someone to be dedicated to your company’s goals and overall mission, you need to pay them to feel like part of a team, not just a project.
  2. Take Risks for Rewards. Business visionary Jim Rohn put it best: “If you are not willing to risk the unusual, you will have to settle for the ordinary.” Leaving room for failure in pursuit of great things is paramount to innovation in an office environment. Chances are, you hired a tech team member because their resume fit your needs, but you also recognized their potential to help your company grow. Their ability to innovate comes at a cost – namely, your willingness to take a risk on their ideas and contributions. You have to be willing to assume that responsibility to reap the rewards.
  3. Raise the Bar. Many tech professionals are at the beginning of their careers, recent college grads or perhaps in their thirties: they want something to be passionate about and sink their teeth into, but as a business leader you can’t inspire great work with mediocre standards. So set the bar high, preferably just out of reach. Give them something to strive for and build confidence, team identity and an internal respect for your business operations.
  4. Build a Ball Pit. Google has nap pods; Microsoft caters daily lunches; Groupon has built a giant ball pit for employees to sink into when they need a break from their computer screens: what are you doing to make your office environment a fun place to work? While it’s not necessary to construct an adult playground in the lobby, there is something to be said for making the space you work in a pleasant place to be. Deconstructing the cubicle is one step you can take to promoting more unity and employee satisfaction in your office environment – not just among tech employees, but everyone. Don’t be afraid to paint or hang artwork; consider alternative solutions to the traditional seating structure; and take preferences into consideration. Above all else, add elements of fun. Happy employees are more productive employees.
  5. See the “I” in “Team.” Hire a tech team member because you recognize the unique talents they will bring to the community. Programmers and developers can make contributions beyond code, and knowing your employees’ individual strengths will help you match them to the most appropriate projects. By allowing them to use their distinct talents, you help to cultivate an environment where employees feel appreciated for their professional and personal individuality. When they know they are being seen for their strengths they will place more value on their position and retain more positive feelings about your organization.