To start, we have three goals for each of our employees: autonomy, mastery, and purpose. Dan Pink says that those, as opposed to monetary incentives, are the keys to motivating people in creative jobs. We have found that having these skills sets the foundation for happy, driven Metova employees and a great place to work. Several of our perks either grow these skills or are made possible because of them.
Learning and Training
Technology is a moving target. In order to keep up, our mobile app developers are always reading articles, books, going to events, and chatting with colleagues. Metova promotes this with open floorplans, book purchases, and event hosting. Everyone is gifted with a copy of The Phoenix Project, a book about using the Theory of Constraints in technology teams. Other commonly purchased books include The Choice, Drive, Driven to Delight, and Goldratt's The Goal. Metova has hosted events for multiple local groups and sent developers to industry conferences. A few months ago, we joined forces with the University of Central Arkansas to educate new mobile app developers by creating the Arkansas Coding Academy.
For many of our mobile app development projects, there’s no reason to require developers to come to the office every day. When your employees are autonomous, know the goal, and communicate effectively, it’s not a problem. Metovians are allowed to work remotely as needed and have alternate schedules. Andreas has a night class at 5 p.m? He can work 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. those days. Bo’s little girl has a fever? He can work from home today to keep an eye on her. People have families and lives that sometimes overlap with the traditional work day. We know that. We work around it.
To keep Metova as a great place to work, we want smart and autonomous people who can do their jobs without much oversight and be a part of a team. Both Metovians and our customers want to work with accountable people they can rely on. The people you work with can make or break your satisfaction with a team. Our mobile app developers are the ones who know their craft and know what their project or team needs. Because of this, our hiring is driven by our developers. They assist in finding, evaluating, and hiring their own teammates.
Food and Drink
What do developers run on? Coffee and caffeine. For Metovians who come into the office, we provide a plethora of options to support their habits. At the Franklin office, developers can choose from an average of 10 different varieties of cokes (we’re in the south here) and juices. There are over 20 different K-Cups for the Keurig. Not your style? Try the traditional coffee maker, espresso machine, or Chemex. About 5 different creamers can be found in the fridge. We have a hot/cold water dispenser and ice makers. We even have two beers on tap in our kegerator for after 3:16 p.m.
We also love to eat. There are the traditional sporadic office treats brought in by a generous Metovian or someone trying out a new recipe. About once a quarter, Metova provides a breakfast, pizza party, or cookout. In the fall we have Halloween candy, chili cook offs, and a Thanksgiving potluck. Metova makes sure there’s always something for hungry developers to look forward to.
Traditionally, Metova has four set parties each year: Cinco De Mayo, Saint Patrick's Day, Halloween, and Christmas. The office is full of shenanigans. We pull out the sombreros and pinata, wear costumes, let the beer flow freely, and dance the night away. Christmas parties are slightly more formal as we celebrate another wonderful year at a great place to work. We have tasty beverages, delicious food, and a gift exchange. Metova often gives out some very nice presents as well. These parties give everyone a chance to blow off some steam and hang out. We may play hard, but we work hard too.
Metova hires smart people and smart people like to be challenged. Our marketing and sales teams work hard to bring in and win good customers with interesting development projects. A healthy relationship is important to us. We’ve had customers offer our developers bonuses to thank them for their amazing work. If a customer is unhappy, we address it. The majority of the time, we work it out and end up with an even stronger relationship. Sometimes, a middle ground cannot be found and we let them go. Yes, we fire customers. Not doing so could cause us to lose our employees and often, that kind of behavior is a red flag warning us of future issues with billing or legal.
Metova is accountable to its employees. Setting expectations helps us do that. People want to know where they stand, what is expected of them, and how to improve. We have a chart broken out by platform that describes what is expected for each of our app developers. This, tied in with our three requirements for a promotion provide guidance for improvement and expectations.
1. The job has to be big enough.
2. You have to be a rockstar in your current role.
3. You have to be a role model of our culture.
Expectations are also important in our customer relationships. Metova feels very strongly that the people doing the work should be estimating it. A project manager or salesperson does not have the knowledge about platforms, libraries, and best practices to know how long a feature should take. We allow our developers to estimate the work and talk with the customer to set expectations and plan out the project.
Metova provides a great place to work by promoting autonomy, mastery and purpose and supporting pathways to develop those skills. Parties, food, and drinks also aid in keeping their spirits up. Autonomy and mastery allow our developers to be flexible and set their own expectations. Good projects help them find a purpose in their work. We provide books and support events to aid in mastery and keep them involved. Metova’s goal is to be a great place to work so we will always be iterating and changing to keep up with our developers’ needs.