Team Software Development
August 16, 2022 - Jon Armour

How to Keep Software Development Teams Motivated

Software development is currently one of the most important niches in the corporate world. With new and different types of software being launched almost every day, it is no wonder that more and more people have decided to work in this booming industry. Even though software engineering is an exciting field to work in as many team members will share a similar sense of purpose and interests in their career pursuits, the fact remains that the technology industry itself is highly competitive and fast pace. If the teams aren’t nurtured, it can often lead to burnout, resulting in software development teams losing their motivation and productivity.

4 Ways to Motivate Your Software Development Teams

Do you sometimes wonder how you would keep developers in your team motivated to put out quality work? The key to motivating software developers is to treat them as humans, understanding that they will have their ups and downs while giving them the space and freedom to do their work in their own way. To help you out, we have compiled a list of the four tried and tested ways to improve your software development team motivation.

Develop Something That Matters

Having a development culture when your team works on developing something meaningful is one of the most important motivational factors. When working on a specific technology, most dev teams like to take on projects that give them a sense of purpose and allow them to solve real-world problems and make a difference. Therefore, when you work on a project with your team, ensure that the development cycle has something that really matters in terms of improving the user experience.

Recognition of Efforts

Recognition is an intrinsic motivator of dev teams. If you want to motivate a team, the cheapest way to do it is by recognizing their efforts and abilities. As a manager, you must make sure that all of your team members are publically commended and praised for their contribution. Doing so not only motivates a team but also boosts their morale which results in increased productivity.

Respect Your Developers

Every individual member of a software development team deserves respect for what they bring to the table. Knowing that coding isn’t a one or two hours job and can even take days, a good team leader is someone who expresses gratitude and takes an extra effort to motivate developers and make them feel special.

Opportunities to Innovate

Looking for fun ways to boost your software development team motivation? Organize programming competitions or hackathons. Being an excellent learning opportunity, these events allow developers to code outside their normal work boundaries and explore innovative approaches that later benefit both the employer and employee.

What Demotivates a Software Development Team?

Motivation is the holy grail of any software development team. It helps in maintaining a high level of performance and keeping and getting the best out of your software engineering team. However, motivating a team isn’t as easy as it sounds. Here are the three main reasons dev teams get demotivated:

Unnecessary Bureaucratic Structure

If you have studied project management, you must understand the importance of a clear chain of command within a software development team. Therefore, the more complex your dev team’s structure is, the more uncomfortable it will make the team members, resulting in creating unnecessary complications and demotivating them.


Compared to actually coding a program, it is easier for managers to breathe down the neck of their dev teams, standing over their heads, identifying poor coding skills, and uncovering holes in productivity. Doing so has a negative impact on the motivation of the developers and their productivity. Therefore, to motivate a team, you must understand the fact that every professional knows their job and give them the space to work in their own way peacefully.

Strict Working Hours and Policies

There is a thin line between setting deadlines and strict working hours. To increase your software development team motivation, let the developers work according to the schedule that suits them best. Moreover, when it comes to coding, as a project manager, you should set rules that keep a balance between creativity and structure. To motivate software developers, you must give them the freedom to innovate and create as they see fit.

Hiring, retaining, and recruiting software developers isn’t an easy task. However, team leaders working at a well-established tech company understand that in order to get quality work, you should keep software development teams motivated, and engaged, give them a sense of purpose, encourage them to stay, and express gratitude every once in a while. In short, the secret to a motivated developers’ team is a manager who genuinely cares for their colleagues. Even though it might sound easy at first, this means giving negative feedback without pushing their boundaries or making them feel devalued.