How to hire the best talent and keep them happy and productive Part 2

Fernando Villalba 29th June 2017

Welcome to the second in this blog series discussing what you can do to ensure you hire the best talent and make your employees feel appreciated. The first half of my blog was released earlier in the month and can be found here.

This blog is merely a continuation which I hope you find useful:

Make them feel at home with team building activities 

This doesn’t mean that your employees have to come to work in pyjamas and slippers, it means that your employees should feel like they can be themselves and speak up without fear of being reprimanded. They should also feel they can contribute and that whatever they say matters.

For example, at ECS Digital, we try to be as welcoming as we can possibly be when new people join and we always have a night out every time someone new joins in their honour. This helps them get to know the team and the team to know him or her too. We are also very open about how we feel on any topic as long as it is polite and respectful.  We encourage others to do the same.

Almost every week, ECS Digital have socials where we go out to dinner with the team and have a drink together. It is not a frivolity, but is important for everyone in the company to get along and feel comfortable with each other; building rapport.

Value their opinion and don’t bash them for it 

If you don’t listen to what your employees have to say with an open mind, then you can’t possibly know the inner details of your company. You would be wasting valuable resources by discarding what could be a valuable opinion based on their experience. You do not have to act on this opinion if you do not agree with it, but at least you should acknowledge it and provide an explanation as to why you do not think that’s a good idea. Another thing you could do is what Jeff Bezos called “disagree and commit” and see how the idea develops on its own.

Make sure thet fit the company culture

When you are hiring people, don’t just look for skills and know-how, yes, that is very important, but even more importantly, you should look for people who fit your work culture. If you feel that a person is not going to be happy or comfortable working in your environment because he is not the right cultural fit, you are not doing them a favour by hiring them and you are not doing yourself any favours either. Not everyone is suited to work everywhere and different people fit better in different environments.

Focus on results, not time keeping 

Unless it is a requirement for your employee to be in the office at a certain period of time , it’salways best to focus on the results your employees bring to the table, and not what time they get to the office. If your employee works sixty hours one week and next week works 20 because there isn’t a lot of work, this is fair and you should even encourage it to avoid employee burnout.

Provide reasons for your request 

If you need to ask an employee to do something it is effective to give a specific reason than to just say “Do this because I say so”. People tend to work better and more productively when they believe in what they are they doing, and perform a lot worse when they don’t see the point of what they are doing.

This is what Netflix refers to context, not control. If you are transparent with your context and why you are doing the things you do, then not only will employees be more motivated, they may often come with the solutions before you even ask them to do so.

Trust them

We have covered this topic in more detail in another blog which you can read here. But the gist here is that trust is important if you want your employees to trust you back and be transparent with you. Also, the more barriers that are in the way of trust, the more money you will need to invest and the more time will be wasted, so assess carefully if the risk is enough to justify the corporate hurdles you have for your employees to achieve trust.

It is important to make sure that your employees feel as though they are appreciated within your business, and that you value the work they are doing (especially when they have done a good job). This will enable your business to have a strong DevOps culture where everyone feels as though they are appreciated and valued member of the team.


Do get in touch if you’re interested in discussing what’s involved in our DevOps Maturity Assessment or if you have any questions for us. We’d love the chance to discuss how we can help you in your adoption of DevOps. 


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