I run a small software company. We have a pretty small development team which is in charge of developing a web/mobile app. Each developer works mostly independent from each other, as they work on different areas. The developer and I decide weekly-ish over video conference which stuff gets done next (for they). All employees work from home.

Recently my most senior employee (10+ years exp, 3+ here) approached me about perspectives on this company.

The employee shared the following concerns:

  • Lack of enthusiasm about current development tasks;
  • Being bugged by coworkers coding standards;
  • Automated bug reports becoming unmanageable, coworkers don't seem to pay attention to overall quality;
  • Willingness to experiment other technologies, architectures;
  • Lack of help from co-workers when it comes to improve tooling, development practices;
  • Limited responsibilities, which consists mostly of coding tasks.

I some way or another the first two concerns were raised before during periodic evaluations. The others seem new to me. During the last conversation the employee shared that maybe the best would be to looking for other opportunities. We'll discuss this again soon. I asked to bring some list of tech the employee wants to bring to the project & what's the benefits.

Some time ago the employee asked, and I granted, to reduce working works. Work here is quite flexible, with no predefined working hours. The extra free time was used to try out a few technologies. I would like eventually to have the employee working full-time again.

An additional problem is there's another team member that's been putting less hours every week, and getting less work done.

So the question is, should I try to accommodate these concerns? How?

  • 1
    From your perspective, how correct was the senior employee for each of the points they made? Has anyone else voiced the same concerns?
    – user34587
    Commented Mar 7, 2019 at 14:58
  • The others didn't raised these concerns. I'm not sure I share the concerns about the level of tasks to be done, and about responsibilities though. About quality, and shared values on the team, I can see it's a thing.
    – user101010
    Commented Mar 7, 2019 at 15:01
  • If you dont share the same concerns about responsibility level, it might be because this person is wanting to move up to an Architect or Product Manager type of role while you still need someone to fill the role of Senior Developer. You may not need someone like this on staff because that might be your role. Is there a possibility you could delegate a couple of your tasks to this developer, like the weekly check in call?
    – Smitty
    Commented Mar 7, 2019 at 19:13

1 Answer 1


Throw it back at him, and listen to his suggestions. I'd be saying:

Ok, I hear you. Thanks for bringing all of this up. What would you recommend putting in place to solve these issues? Feel free to think outside the box as much as you like. Should we be hiring different people, allocating training budgets, giving dedicated time for code reviews, etc. - if you come back to me with some suggestions, I'll see what I can do.

If he works with you to solve those issues, you've got a really satisfied employee, and you've improved things at your company to boot - that's a win win.

  • 1
    +1 As a manager of mine once said "Don't come to me with problems unless you've already thought about the solutions, and have some." Commented Mar 11, 2019 at 19:21

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