Do not pay, motivate: how to convince a senior developer to stick with your team. Part 2

Start with Part 1.

In the material, we continue to describe techniques for senior developers’ motivation. They are now one of the main assets of many companies. So it is reasonable to work on a retention strategy and implement new ways to motivate your best talents.   

8. The leader board knows what they do

Sometimes executives are less experienced than developers or they just haven’t got enough experience in the business. For a senior engineer, it means instability and additional work in explaining obvious things. Most of them will try to avoid this headache. When senior developers perceive that a project is destined for failure accompanied by organizational powerlessness, they will simply quit. 

Make sure your best talents trust you and feel that you have a clear vision of what you are building and where you are going. 

For productive long-term cooperation, your senior developers should believe in the leaders of the company. 

Get the whole company as a technical co-founder Our team helps with business strategy and investments, hiring and managing the best engineering talents, and much more.

9. Work-life balance in practice

It is easy to say that your company provides a work-life balance. It is hard to achieve it in practice. And it is not only about closing your office at 6 pm. 

Here are several things to take into account on the way to the perfect balance for your employees: 

  • Ask which deadline is comfortable and reasonable;
  • Train your managers to look after your senior developers so that they are not set de facto in unfavorable conditions and have to overwork. For example, you set a certain deadline for the project but along the way, new difficulties arise and managers ignore the fact;
  • Provide flexible working hours, so that employees can set their working time according to their needs.
  • Stimulate brakes;
  • Equip healthy workspaces in accordance with an employee’s individual needs. E.g. standing desk.
  • Offer additional time-off as bonuses.

By guaranteeing work-life balance as software developers motivation you not only get loyal and satisfied employees but also better results in their work. Working more does not equal being more productive.

10. Professional growth

Not all software developers and engineers are eager to get manager positions in their career paths. At the same time, most of them prefer career growth and development. 

DIGIS most impoertant form of professional growth for developers statistics
Source: Hacker Rank.

Here are good practices for senior software developers’ professional growth:

  • Have an option to advance without going into management. The variations of technical advancement might include more senior certifications, formal academic programs like master’s degrees or PhDs.
  • Differentiate managing and teaching. If necessary, make a separate path for senior developers based on how well they help juniors
  • Make promotions a matter of merit rather than time. «If you successfully finish the project we will promote you».  
  • Regularly review and adjust your structure to match the expertise of your senior talents. 

11. Check the result not working hours

If you hire professionals they are probably able to be their own managers. Let your senior developers know that you do not need them using a computer all 8 hours a day but you need to see the expected progress in a certain time. 

You even may go further and offer an unlimited number of sick days and days off. 

12. The best like to work with the best

Engineers like to solve tough coding challenges together. Taking into account that they value acquiring new technical knowledge, they will likely choose a team of talented professionals rather than environments where they are the only experienced programmers in the room and have to clean up mistakes of less-talented colleagues.

A team of best engineers for BlaBlaCar Read our case about scaling up the technical team of the famous platform.

13. Maintain diversity

Millennials and Gen Z understand the importance of diversity in the workplace. According to Glassdoor survey, 76% reviewed employees and job seekers report a diverse workforce is an important factor when evaluating companies and job offers. 

Not only women fight for equal labor rights, but men themselves also do not want to work in a boys club. From the mentioned survey 74% of men consider diversity as an important factor.

It is not limited to having an equal number of men and women. It is also about different languages, cultures, races, ages (why not hire older people?), abilities, LGBTQ people and etc.

Best technical talents are motivated by different opinions, ideas, and views. They know there is a diverse team behind most high-quality products. 

14. Build a friendly environment of like-minded 

You need a diversified team of people who value the same things and appreciate each other. The first is about the basic philosophical resemblance with the majority of coworkers. And the second is about emotional intelligence. Even very experienced and clever individuals can be bad at dealing with their emotions. Best senior developers wouldn’t be happy to work in a toxic environment.

You can rarely bring together an ideal startup team, but you should look after team interactions and have a serious talk with people who create unfavorable conditions among colleges. 


Treat senior software engineers as investors — they invest their talent and experience in your company, not the other one. Top programmers are only happy in jobs that provide value to them and jobs to which they provide increasing value. When people can use their talents to do what they love while improving their skills, they won’t just stay in your team — they’ll tell their smartest friends to come to join them.

Following the advice not only you’ll keep your best talents, but motivate them to work better, making reputation and revenue for your organization.

When trying to set processes and to find experienced staff you still need someone to work.  

DIGIS is a good chance to get the ball rolling. While your project is developing with our motivated technical experts, you will be able to find your best team for a startup without any fuss
We even can become your full Technical Co-Founder. DIGIS helps with business strategy and investments, hiring and managing the best technical talents, and much more.

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