How to make the "non-technical" people in the IT company feel part of the team?
Employees of companies in the IT industry know perfectly well that among their colleagues there are also many people who are not at all “technical”, do not know what API, debugger, framework and other such terms are. It is especially difficult for such people to feel part of a team in which programmers and other IT specialists predominate. However, a lack of technical knowledge must not be the reason why “non-technical” persons are marginalised, excluded from the group. After all, they also have their tasks to perform in the IT company. These are often not trivial duties.
It usually happens that the larger the IT company, the more it needs “non-technical” employees. Just list the positions in marketing, HR, sales, etc. They are not always people who have already worked in the IT industry, but they are excellent professionals in advertising, recruitment or customer acquisition. At once it is worth emphasizing that lack of technical knowledge, lack of knowledge of coding meanders or knowledge of the process of creating applications does not mean that a person does not automatically fit into the company culture or the IT team. Such employees can perfectly fit into the technical team. All we have to do is help them. A big role in this other members of the team. Here are our tips on how to make a “non-technical” employee not feel inferior, but become an important link in the technical team.
1. Learn the knowledge of the “non-technical”
To bring a “non-technical” person into the specifics of your team’s work, to help them integrate, you must first understand what is the technical knowledge of such an employee, what is the level of understanding of the product that you produce. Of course, this will not happen on the first day of work. Most often it starts with acquaintance of the new person with the company, with its policy, way of functioning, etc. However, even then it is worth talking to the “novice”, to tease him, but without any insistence. Do not forget that during this period the new person is literally bombarded with information. All the more necessary is kindness, encouragement to ask questions. It always sounds good when a rookie hears during his first days at the company “don’t worry, it was the same with us, we were lost in everything”. A good idea is to meet outside the company-over coffee, beer, on the field. Then the “non-technical” person will open up more quickly and you will have a better chance to know the degree of their technical knowledge. You will find out from which ceiling the new employee starts.
2. Speak human.
The use of industry jargon, technical terms is quite obvious and natural at work. However, if you are talking to a “non-technical” employee, try to change your language, just say “human” so that everyone understands you. If necessary, explain in simple sentences what you mean, what you expect from a new employee. The same applies to written communication (electronic or paper). It is also important that you explain in a simple way exactly what each team member does, what the product is used for, what functions it has and how it can be used.
3. Learn to explain
It is often difficult for a “non-technical” person to explain even the simplest term for a programmer. Remember, explaining is an art that not everyone has mastered. Knowing the level of knowledge of the new employee (which is why the first point of our list is so important), you will be able to find the key to establishing contact with him at the professional level. Do not be shy to use different metaphors when explaining specialized terms. A good idea is to use comparisons-the more plastic, the better. Then in the head of the recipient there will be specific images that will explain the issue, and by the way they will come back whenever the “non-technical” hears a specific term in the field of it.
4. Don’t be afraid to spend time with a newbie
Time is of the essence. On the one hand, a new person needs it in order to implement himself in new responsibilities, in the specifics of the company’s functioning, and on the other-you need to invest your time to introduce a “non-technical” person to technical issues. Remember, the more time you spend on explanations at the beginning, the less you will have to explain to such a person later, where the deadlines will chase you, when every hour will be worth its weight in gold. It is better to repeat something 50 times to a new colleague when there is peace, than to explain in anger when the deadline is hanging over your head.
5. Let me ask you questions
You need to arm yourself with a lot of patience and empathy. You must not betray signs of anger, irritation. Only then the “non-technical” person will not be afraid to ask questions. Calmly and matter-of-factly answer each of them, even if it seems to you silly, or concerning obvious issues. Remember that what is obvious to you is not so for someone who has not previously dealt with the IT industry. Asking questions develops, and that’s what education and integration of the “non-technical”is all about.
6. Learn to listen
You need to learn to listen, and the more you listen, the faster you will understand what problems your colleague is facing. Focus on what the “non-technical” person is saying to you, do not interrupt, maintain eye contact, try to put yourself in her place. This way you will know the gaps in her technical knowledge that can be filled.
7. Ask for feedback
From time to time, you can ask a “non-technical” person for an opinion on something. This will allow the employee to feel part of the team. Let him speak best about the issues that you have previously explained to him. In this way, on the one hand, morale of the new person in the company will be boosted, and on the other – you will get feedback on how much the “non-technical” has understood from your explanation of the intricacies of the art of coding. There may be some issues that need to be revisited. Or it may turn out that a “non-technical” person will surprise you with a fresh look at the issue, will show you it from a completely different point of view. This will also mean that the new employee is well suited to the team.
That’s it, that’s it. A smile relieves tension in relations with other people, relieves crisis situations and makes everyone feel better. A “non-technical” person, seeing your smile, will certainly feel more confident, better and begin to understand that he is becoming part of the team. However, do not confuse a smile with ridicule.
If you are “non – technical”, but you caught the programming Baccile, we recommend you an article about the fact that it is not at all difficult to become a coder – “from zero to developer, that is, how I retrained as a programmer”.