The positive psychological approach to team work at DeepSource

Why is the psychological approach so important for us at DeepSource?

Everyone, familiar with team work and group dynamics appreciates the value of a positive psychological approach to the team. A lot of research has been done on this topic, all proving the validity of a positive psychological climate, contributing to the overall productivity and general well-being of the team and each individual member of it.

How does the positive psychological approach affect each individual member of the team of our company?

The positive psychological approach affects the so called “work mood”, attitude towards the working process. It also has an effect on communication in the team, on all levels. Both horizontal (amongst members of a certain team or a department – developers, etc.) and vertical lines of structuring of a team, do depend on daily communication and exchange of information. A developer, a team leader, chairman of the board – all of this “chain” is affected by the way people communicate and pass information to each other. The way it is being done is an essential constitutional part of the psychological climate of the team – the sum of all feelings and attitudes of all team members individually and as a group.

How does one make implement such an approach to their team and company in general?

The approaches chosen do depend a lot on many factors (number of employees, team structure, company structure and policies regarding employees, etc.). But the key factors here are:

  • Understanding of the importance of recognition of each individual team member’s efforts, and emotional investment that they put in their work. Practically, this means that a team leader should take into account the everyday efforts, small steps of progress during a particular project. Acknowledgement of those “small” everyday efforts (which could be expressed verbally by “I see that you have finished this task earlier than the deadline. Good job! This would be of help for the whole team, nicely done!” – for example) does help boost the self-confidence and feeling of satisfaction of each team member.
  • Recognizing that the top priority on a subjective level for each individual is first and foremost – MEANING of their work and daily efforts. This factor has a direct impact on work motivation. On a practical scale, this can include having regular talks with the members of the team (a team leader, or a manager could do that), asking specific questions about what drives them, what is their personal mission on this project. Do they feel they are meeting their personal goals? How do they feel in this team? Who supports them the most? Is there something that prevents them from doing their best on a task/project? What could be done to improve things in their specific project? Such questions do help to put into practice a positive psychological approach.
  • Providing positive feedback on a regular basis. We all know the old rule “Praise in public, criticize in private”. Well…it does work! Positive feedback is also the tool for expressing understanding and appreciation, ergo – recognition of the person’s efforts. Everyday efforts, a strive for completing a job, finishing an app, or something else, related to a project – all of these need to be supported by the team leader’s opinion. This should be expressed, articulated, told to the employees on a regular bases, should we consider to have this positive psychological approach in place.

Each team member has their own, specific meaning which they seek. One channel this is being expressed by is their work. What we see as end product is exactly this – an end product (an app, a finished website design, etc.). But behind all of this stands the emotional life of a developer, or any team member. What EMOTIONS did they experience during this project? Asking the employees such a question, after an end of the project does help facilitate a feeling of their emotions being recognized. Recognizing this would provide a benefit for all team leaders, who wish to keep their team motivated, achievement-driven and emotionally “ready” for the everyday challenges of a project.