5 tips for companies to manage programmers in Japan

Leadership teams are always looking for new and innovative ways to better manage their teams to ensure high performance and quality of work. Basic management techniques such as good communication, transparency, openness, identifying weaknesses and strengths are what we already know.

But with the new normal and an ongoing global pandemic that has evolved the ways of working, it is becoming increasingly difficult to monitor or discover what motivates your team members, and what impacts their emotions and mental health in becoming their best self.


Digitalisation with the new normal

With greater influx of digital tools, more training would be necessary to build the aptitude for using them despite a higher expenditure on learning and development.

Technology firms will possess market advantages given their know-hows and experience in the sector but what remains would be the rate they adapt to the new ways of working such as remote work, flexibility as well as the ability to handle greater privacy issues.

Employers should be prepared for this as such trends are already prevalent in 2021. In this article, we will cover tips to engage your team, especially programmers in Japan in this new normal.


Tip 1 for companies: Build trust with your programmers to minimise micromanaging

Programmers in Japan execute on projects. As employers, you will need to tell them what you need, and leave them to do their jobs. Trust their expertise. You want to maintain an ‘open-door policy’ in case of questions, of course, and use whatever processes your organisation uses for dissemination of information. Be there for them if they need you and exercise flexibility.

But mostly, it’s best to get out of the way and let them do their thing. It can be complex because programmers are simultaneously technologically capable people and artists of a sort. It can be difficult to make art to order.

And this can be even more challenging in a remote environment. But in some ways it’s almost easier to manage people remotely than in-person, especially with development-type jobs. Contrary to popular belief, programmers are artists too. And this made many managers especially in the tech industry, sometimes struggle with managing their programmers effectively without over-managing them. Hence, start by building a strong foundation of trust, and provide them that ample space to grow.


Tip 2 for companies: Provide flexibility and work-life balance opportunities

Offering flexible schedules and remote work has been a great benefit that many job seekers in the market prioritise now. And this is especially relevant for programmers in Japan as they don’t necessarily have to be in their physical workspace. The tradition of nine to five, Monday through Friday work is swiftly going by the wayside in current circumstances. It is already noticeably less centralised with multinational organisations, and the pandemic meant that we had to work from home - or risk shutting down entirely.

Working remotely can be easily accomplished with the proper tools for your team, especially digital tools. Reduced commutes mean a better use of time whether it’s more time for programming, time to spend with your loved ones or increased employee satisfaction.


Tip 3 for companies: Listen actively to your team of programmers

Active listening is one of the many undervalued leadership qualities that is, unfortunately, often neglected in the modern working world. Many managers and business leaders are just not trained enough to listen properly, and instead listen to respond. They listen, simply, for the sake of listening.

However, active listening builds trust and relationships in the long run especially in the new normal. Good leaders communicate with care, focus on the employee and the message; they don't interrupt what is being said but instead act on what is required. And that is what organisations need – leaders who listen to its people. Acquiring this skill is not easy; it requires self-awareness and humility to respect the thoughts of others. Programmers in particular would need to be communicated with care.


Tip 4 for companies: Provide feedback

After active listening, providing either positive feedback or constructive criticism, is something that will be greatly appreciated. Take the time to analyse team members’ performance, weaknesses and strengths, before working with them to deliver the best possible outcomes. In this way, you can work with your team of programmers on solutions that can assist them in performing better.

Don’t forget to also share promptly, because providing feedback instantly or quickly will save time for both yourself and your team of programmers. Ensure no important information is forgotten. Do not just focus on KPIs. Instead, celebrate the wins – big or small – in your sprint calls and your team will feel appreciated of the effort they put in for you and the business.


Tip 5 for companies: Be a visionary leader

Be a leader who is forward-looking and agile to change. Especially as a leader within tech teams, visionary leadership style embraces the unknown as a blank canvas for innovation, experimentation, and the pioneering of new possibilities. Visionary leaders recognise the importance of performing as a collective team that has clear goals and understand their role in making this vision for the future a reality.

They inspire their team to strive boldly in achieving new heights without fear. Leading with vision will inspire your team to beyond their potential. This is especially important to communicate to your team of programmers. And this is what a good leader comprises of.


In a nutshell…

Many managers and leaders are often trained to treat each employee in a fair manner while crafting out a development plan for each individual which can vary depending on their capabilities. And while every individual is different, they all have a similar role as programmers. In order to manage a team of programmers effectively, get to know them individually. Listen to their needs, understand their weaknesses and strengths, and work on a plan with them. In fact, programmers are no different to the others within a tech team.

You also want to ensure you retain the best programmers in Japan. Whether it’s offering a remote work option, flexibility or a work-life balance, work together with them to make the necessary arrangements. Let them know that you are there for them, and that they can come to you with questions or concerns.

For more tips about managing your teams in the new normal or hiring strategies that can support you in 2022, reach out to us via the form below:

Whether you’re a professional looking for a job or a business seeking highly skilled talent, the team at Computer Futures are here for you. By combining our local expertise and specialist market knowledge, we can provide expert recruitment and employment solutions across a range of IT markets.