Whether you're the most experienced senior developer on your team or brand new to programming, the dynamic of your team is crucial to the success of your department. Even more than that, your team dynamic is crucial to your own happiness at work. You spend more than 2000 hours with your coworkers each year and encouraging them is the best way to foster a good relationship and keep them (and yourself) productive, efficient and happy. Sound logical? It is. TINYPULSE recently found that employee happiness is more dependent on co-workers than direct managers.
You may think you have a pretty great relationship with your coworkers, but what if your interactions are actually discouraging them? Here are three signs that you're not encouraging your fellow developers and suggestions for what to do instead.
You discount their knowledge or work.
All development work that a team completes helps the ultimate goal of the IT department, which is to create an efficient and productive experience for users to accomplish company goals. Each developer has their own strengths and some developers are more experienced than others. If you're discounting work that another developer is doing, you could be discouraging them. Every team member has to start somewhere. Criticizing the work of another team member devalues them and discourages their efforts, making them less efficient, making the team less efficient and ruining the morale. Make sure that you take time to encourage every developer that you work with and make them feel like their skills contribute to the team.
You don't help them get better.
Team members should encourage each other to pursue educational opportunities in order to help them produce better code. It's easy to just go to work, do what you need to do and collect your paycheck. But if you're looking to help encourage your coworkers, help them to identify the areas that they can improve upon. As an example, often developers find that themselves in pair programming situations or working on the project of another developer when they're out sick. If you notice errors in the code that they're writing, suggest a refresher course or better yet - take one together. When the team is making strides to be the best they possibly can, everyone will be more productive and happy.
You distract them.
Hilarious YouTube videos, Facebook posts and Reddit articles are one of the biggest distractions that developers face. While it's always nice to take a break and enjoy a few articles, it's important that you're not constantly e-mailing or messaging these types of things to your coworkers and inhibiting team productivity. When a team member gets behind, project delivery times can lag. Find a balance between productivity, office fun and encouraging your coworkers to do the best job they possibly can.
In today's work environment, it can be difficult to balance and constantly encourage your coworkers and team. While it might seem like encouragement is a function of a manager, you'd be surprised in how rewarding it can feel to encourage your fellow developer. Help your team improve by encouraging your coworkers and inevitably everyone will reap the benefits.