I'd like to apologize in advance for a lengthy problem description, however I am interested in the community's opinion and I'm asking this from the employer perspective.
My company deals primarily with software products aimed at insurance market which has secured us stable financial future for the upcoming 5 or more years, and since there were only 3 of us working at the start - we decided to expand our small IT company and area we work in and we began hiring about 1.5 year ago - and that's when the problems started. We are between 27 and 30 years of age, me being the oldest at 30 years.
The problem we're facing is lack of motivation and interest in our developers. People hired are offered excellent work conditions (in my opinion):
- high and competitive salary (2x the country's standard, one's able to get a car, a 2 bedroom apartment and sufficient leisure money and even save up)
- no education requirements except years of experience (we hired people with min. 5 years of exp.)
- there's no classic boss who yells at people, nor are there any repercussions and developers are welcome to dispute ideas and propose their own at any time
- We are not tied to a particular technology nor do we suffer from "older version" syndrome, we tend to adopt newer version of the software stack we work with, therefore new ideas, new methods are always welcome and encouraged
- We expect developers to work in teams promoting redundancy, we strive to have no "bus people" (people of importance who, if hit by bus, no one can resume their work)
Question is - how do other managers in IT companies deal with this kind of problem? We tried motivating people trough awards (more money essentially) but I'm slowly favoring the method of punishment and letting people go and hiring new ones. It seems overly aggressive and I'm afraid it might cloud the atmosphere we're trying to build. If anyone can shed some light or an advice, no matter how small, I'd be grateful. We're obviously young and would like to expand, however there's this barrier we're faced with and before expanding we have to come to terms with a team of this size before creating a bigger one.