Upgrade to Pro — share decks privately, control downloads, hide ads and more …

How To Keep The People You Need

How To Keep The People You Need


How to retain your hardest to hire positions (DevOps, System Automation, Release Engineering)

Abstract: We all talk about how to recruit and hire DevOps minded people, but something we don't often talk about is how to manage and retain them once you have hired them. There are lots of studies and statistics that discuss how expensive it is when you lose an employee. Often times the business side believes the only way to keep employees is via monetary compensation, and this is a terrible way to motivate. I have found that motivating thru autonomy and purpose can yield a much higher benefit to all parties. Most important to Startups as they often are more cash constrained and need to compete with more profitable and established companies.

The Theory of Constraints states that an hour lost at a bottleneck essentially shuts down your organization. What happens when your constrained group (most likely your evolving operations team) loses a highly valued engineer? In this presentation, I want to discuss some of the techniques that were helpful for me when trying to keep my team motivated, when the world was coming down on our heads. Techniques found within process and culture changes such as Agile and DevOps, collaboration and cross functional teams, help everyone to feel as though they are part of something greater than themselves.

My talk will expand and focus on the specifics of what has worked for me, and hopefully provide enough options that most any company could cherry-pick and start using within their organization. With the ultimate focus of keeping people happy and productive members of your team.

Pete Cheslock

April 30, 2013

More Decks by Pete Cheslock

Other Decks in How-to & DIY


  1. None
  2. ™  Pete Cheslock ™  Twitter - @petecheslock ™  Github/Freenode –

    petecheslock ™  Director of DevTools
  3. ™  Pete Cheslock ™  Twitter - @petecheslock ™  Github/Freenode –

    petecheslock ™  Director of Release Engineering
  4. ™  Pete Cheslock ™  Twitter - @petecheslock ™  Github/Freenode –

    petecheslock ™  Director of Automation
  5. ™  Pete Cheslock ™  Twitter - @petecheslock ™  Github/Freenode –

    petecheslock ™  Director of GSD
  6. ™  Pete Cheslock ™  Twitter - @petecheslock ™  Github/Freenode –

    petecheslock ™  Director of Developer Happiness
  7. Disclaimer" ™  I’m not advocating The Right Way™ ™  Shared

    Experiences from: ™  Past/Current Companies ™  Books ™  Blog Posts ™  Personal Interactions ™  You may not be able to keep everyone @petecheslock
  8. YMMV @petecheslock http-//www.web-cars.com/mpg/epa_ymmv.php

  9. About Myself ™  Network/System Admin ™  Pre-sales ™  Infrastructure Consulting

    ™  Building and Managing Ops Teams ™  Work/Recruit for companies you’ve never heard of (until recently) @petecheslock
  10. Recruiting = Sisyphus ™  Difficult ™  Painful ™  Forced to

    Repeat for Eternity (or so it feels like) @petecheslock http://blog.anthonycoletraining.com/Portals/10395/images/sisyphus-resized-600.jpg
  11. Losing People Sucks It’s even more painful when you realize

    you could have avoided it. @petecheslock http://robbieabed.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/im-a-quitter.jpg
  12. Feels Like Failure ™  Recruitment ™  Retention ™  Everything Else

    @petecheslock http://leujin.deviantart.com/art/Failure-is-always-an-option-141252872
  13. Who’s Hiring? ™  Everyone ™  Actively Recruiting, Interviewing, Etc? @petecheslock

  14. Not that bad? Really? ™  Two Weeks Notice (Sometimes Four)

    ™  Two Weeks “Intro to Company” ™  Three Months Full Ramp-Up ™  Four Months Total? ™  Probably more like 6 Months. @petecheslock
  15. Constraints @petecheslock

  16. Didn’t Read the Books? ™  “An hour lost on the

    bottleneck is an hour lost on the entire system” ™  “An hour gained on a non-bottleneck is a mirage” ™  What happens if Brent quit? @petecheslock
  17. Redundant Keymasters? @petecheslock http://cdn3.hark.com/images/000/659/522/659522/original.jpg

  18. System Shutdown ™  Projects Slow down ™  Days get longer

    ™  More Stress ™  More People Leave @petecheslock http://www.dashe.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/snowball_effect.png
  19. “Common sense is not so common.” @petecheslock - Voltaire

  20. Money @petecheslock http://x959fm.com/blogs/post/savery/2013/apr/15/bad-tattoo-day-pay/

  21. Money ™  “Everyone takes a paycut to be here” ™ 

    Above market offer turns into a huge bump ™  You need to take money off the table ™  Monetary adjustments = short term fixes (at best) ™  STPR @petecheslock http://x959fm.com/blogs/post/savery/2013/apr/15/bad-tattoo-day-pay/ http://arnoldzwicky.s3.amazonaws.com/BizarroCarrotStick.gif
  22. Money @petecheslock http://arnoldzwicky.s3.amazonaws.com/BizarroCarrotStick.gif

  23. What Drives Us? ™ Autonomy ™ Mastery ™ Purpose @petecheslock Drive: The Surprising

    Truth About What Motivates Us: Dan Pink
  24. I tell my daughter what to do, not my engineers

  25. But I Need Work Done? ™  Align work with an

    owner ™  Back off and let them work on it ™  Offer support as needed ™  Filter unnecessary distractions @petecheslock
  26. Mastery ™  Get better at something that matters ™  Continuous

    Learning ™  Skill Improvement @petecheslock http://www.midwestusergroup.org/RubiksCube.JPG
  27. Purpose "I want to write code that no one will

    ever use" -Nobody, Ever. @petecheslock ™  Being a part of something greater ™  Fulfilling, important work that matters.
  28. Story Time ™  We had Nagios ™  Nagios annoyed my

    Devs ™  My Devs annoyed me @petecheslock
  29. @petecheslock http://www.menspsychology.com/blog/frustration-and-how-to-deal-with-it

  30. Wild Idea Appears ™  “There is a better way to

    do this…I think” ™  One week for a POC ™  One month for an MVP ™  Replaced Nagios 2 weeks after ™  Opensource and Community @petecheslock
  31. @petecheslock

  32. Open Source Projects ™  Gives people ownership ™  Can make

    it easier to recruit later ™  Costs can be minimal ™  Benefits can be massive @petecheslock
  33. Unlimited Vacations ™  You have to have the culture to

    back it up ™  “Umm..You already have taken 3 weeks…” @petecheslock
  34. Unlimited Vacations @petecheslock http://img.gawkerassets.com/img/18ixlb19u5z7njpg/ku-medium.jpg It should not be a way

    to avoid burnout
  35. The Remotes ™  You want to scale, in this economy?

    ™  Talent > Location ™  A manager is responsible for the output of their team ™  It doesn’t (shouldn’t) matter where people are contributing from. @petecheslock
  36. @petecheslock

  37. Conferences ™  They’re Important (In moderation) ™  Opportunity to see

    new technologies ™  Learn new and interesting solutions to problems ™  Build a Personal Network @petecheslock
  38. Unscheduled Time @petecheslock http://www.georgeambler.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/reflect.jpg

  39. Culture ™  Free Food/Snacks ™  PingPong Tables ™  Beer @petecheslock

  40. Culture ™  Free Food/Snacks ™  PingPong Tables ™  Beer @petecheslock

  41. High Levels of Trust Across the Organization Personal Ownership and

    Responsibility @petecheslock http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lodph06Pd51qfcygro1_250.jpg
  42. Challenging Meaningful Work Employee Ownership High Levels of Trust @petecheslock

  43. @petecheslock Treat Them Like Adults

  44. @petecheslock

  45. Thank You @petecheslock