Qualities of an effective Resource Manager

According to a research by consulting agency Delivering Happiness, 87% of employees around the world do not see the point in their activities at work and feel unhappy. This is why many companies, including Google, Audi, Hewlett-Packard and Morgan Stanley, now have employees whose position is called "Happiness Manager". 

A happy employee is 12% more productive than an unhappy one. Is it possible to make all employees of your company completely happy? Unlikely. However, you can support them, open up new opportunities for them to unlock their potential and use their strongest skills.

Recently, Sibedge has also hired a Resources Manager. Please, read our interview with him, in which he talks about his responsibilities and shares tips how to make IT experts happier. 

What is the role of a Resources Manager?

RM: My role is to effectively distribute engineers across projects. First of all, we need to ensure that we have engineers who can work on projects efficiently and with satisfaction. I work closely with our Center for Professional Competencies to ensure that we have engineers who develop professional and soft skills necessary for effective production. Second of all, I try to make sure that engineers are assigned to the project that they would be interested to work on in terms of technology stacks, processes, and other significant points.

What do you rely on in your work?

RM: Instructions that tell me exactly what to do. But they are based on the principles of certain companies, and each company has its own approach. Using them as a foundation, I have to create my own working principles together with the Sibedge team. We modify this position according to our business processes and try to adapt new production models. It is an important task that we need to complete in order to achieve our goals. 

What qualities are required to be a Resources Manager?

RM: A Resources Manager should have a broad outlook and at least medium level of understanding of all technologies the company uses. Given that I also need to understand pains and issues of developers, I also need very sophisticated soft skills. Another important quality is a developed empathy. My experience in project management helps. I used to be a development processes manager, so I very well understand the wishes and needs of engineers. 

What does mostly affect IT experts’ happiness?

RM: The problems differ greatly. Here are just a few examples from my practice:
  • mismatch of the technology stack to the engineer's wishes; 
  • disorganization of teamwork;
  • excessive overtime in the framework of the project;
  • insufficient competence of colleagues;
  • unreasonable demands from project stakeholders;
  • discrepancy between the pace of the project and the pace of work and life of the engineer;
  • project ceases to give the developer pleasure due to burnout or other reasons.

How can you make an IT expert happier?

RM: Together with the Center for Professional Competencies, I work to ensure that our experts develop, improve their grades and discover new ways of development. For example, an engineer can become a team leader or a mentor for junior developers. We also try to carefully study project requirements and correlate them with the skills of our experts. We strive to make sure that our engineers are suitable for projects, and projects are suitable for the engineers. Sometimes engineers openly say that they don't want to work on a certain project, and we immediately take steps to understand the problem and try to solve it in the bud. 

Could you give some advice on how to maintain your happiness at work?

RM: Rarely do engineers come on their own accord and share their feelings. Therefore, I recommend more communication with your colleagues and regular individual meetings on the results of their work in the company. You can use them to discuss any issues that concern you with the management. It is important to keep in touch with the HR Department, who will always listen and offer solutions to problems. The company should be ready to change and improve the working conditions of its employees as much as possible. If people do not see progress in solving their problems over and over again, they begin to feel the powerlessness of leadership. These problems should be heard, recorded, worked on, and most importantly, resolved.

How to measure the level of happiness of the developers?

RM: Together with the HR Department employees we call our developers every week. We are probing their feelings – who is happy and who is not so much satisfied. If there are complaints, we try to take appropriate measures immediately. We also conduct surveys on the results of our work once a month. I also personally communicate with people, spend time with stack managers. It is important to achieve effective staffing: increase the percentage of people who meet the project requirements, as well as the percentage of people who are satisfied with projects. Our goal is to improve these indicators. And we are actively working on this. 

What does a Resources Manager's work day look like?

RM: My day consists of meetings and negotiations, morning to evening. It is important to have strong vocal cords, as you have to talk constantly and a lot. Each interview takes about half an hour to an hour. And there is almost no free time. 

What makes you happy at work?

RM: My job. What I do. I wouldn't have accepted this position if it could not make me happy. Those tasks I do make me happy.