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4 Ways to Motivate Remote Developers

Startups need remote software development teams with more than just ‘experience.’ Startups need remote developers who share their passion and are personally committed to their company’s success.


So you’ve found a remote software development team that has precisely the expertise your startup needs. Awesome! The perfect team is hard to find. But even if your developers have the skills it takes, you still need to make sure they’re 110% behind your startup idea. How can you make sure your remote developers share your startup’s values and passion?


Here are four keys to motivating remote software developers.


1. Sell your idea to your remote developers


Would you want any hire — and especially an early hire — who didn’t embrace your startup’s values, understand your vision, and truly believe in your product? Of course not! Unfortunately, it happens sometimes that remote developers aren’t sold on your brand and your product the way your core team is. Why?


Here are the most common reasons why remote developers don’t share your startup’s passion:

  • Your startup’s vision/values/mission was never clearly presented to them.
  • They don’t see the big picture.
  • You never sold them on your startup idea.


Employees are the most important asset for any startup, and remote developers should be just as committed to your idea as everyone else. But this is possible only if you sell them on your idea before they ever write a line of code. Selling your remote team on your startup idea has to begin during the initial interview.


To put this a different way, when you’re looking for remote developers, don’t hire a sales team or a faceless ‘development shop.’ Talk to all potential developers in-person, and sign a contract only after you know that individual developers buy in to your company’s vision and share your passion.


2. Meet your remote developers in person


Getting your remote team to buy in to your startup’s idea begins with the first interview. But the best way to really sell your remote team on your idea is to meet them in person. Meeting face to face builds trust and commitment a whole lot faster and more effectively than emails, Slack chats, or even Skype calls.


Obviously it’s not always possible to make a trip to the country where your remote team is located — but it’s a worthwhile investment if you can. If you have the chance, go for it. But if you can’t visit your remote developers on their own turf, you can always consider bringing a developer stateside for a week or two to integrate them into your team and build personal connections.


3. Treat remote developers the same as in-house employees


In practice, treating remote developers like in-house employees may mean involving them in company trainings, connecting them to your office chats, and keeping them in the loop about your company’s vision, overall progress, issues, and wins.


But it also means setting clear goals and publicly acknowledging remote employees when they meet or exceed those goals. It’s not that remote developers need participation trophies to feel good, but they do need to be affirmed in front of their peers just as employees might be noticed for their contributions in the home office.


Treating remote developers like in-house employees also increases buy-in to your startup idea. People simply do better work when their contributions are appreciated and when they have supportive colleagues by their side.


4. Find ways to offer equity or other incentives to remote developers


Software engineers at US-based startups typically have equity options, but software developers working on remote teams typically don’t. Why? Nothing says “you’re on the same level” more than offering equity to all your developers, regardless of what country they’re based in.


If equity isn’t a viable option, then you could also consider bonuses, trips to headquarters, or other incentives tied to your startup’s success. Set concrete development goals and establish real incentives for exceeding expectations.


Have an idea to sell to our Nerds?


WebiNerds has successfully collaborated with many US-based startups. We offer technical solutions to real business problems, helping startups launch, grow, and succeed.


Let us know if you have a startup idea to sell our developers on! Just drop us a message through the “Get In Touch” tab on the right margin of the page and we’ll give you a call or send an email.

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