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Motivating Technical Professionals

The importance of motivation

Any good manager knows that when employees are highly motivated, their performance can improve significantly. They push themselves to perform at their best and strive to accomplish more. So as a manager, an important aspect of your job is to motivate the people you manage.

Often, technical professionals work long hours on tasks that require intense concentration. Sustaining this effort depends a lot on motivation. But what typically motivates technical professionals?

As a technical manager, you need to determine what motivates your team members if you’re to succeed in inspiring them to perform at their best.

What typically motivates technical professionals and gives them job satisfaction differs slightly from the usual motivators you might think of — such as money or promotion.

At the top of the list for most technical professionals are three main types of motivators:

  • a personal desire for expertise or professional rewards,
  • challenging and stimulating work or job content, and
  • opportunities for career development or career rewards.

Professional rewards

Achieving professional rewards typically ranks highest for job satisfaction for technical professionals. Professionalism is the most important characteristic of high-tech employees. It sets them apart and causes them to respond differently to managers.

Anything that enhances their status as professionals or appeals to their professional identity can be a professional reward.

Professional rewards include opportunities to work with individuals who are rated as leaders in a specific field or area of expertise, work that’s mentally stimulating, and freedom from management to plan their own work.