Some managers work up through the ranks, while others have been brought in because they earned a degree in managing people and projects. Regardless of how you got here, here you are, and your job has two major priorities: getting the most out of your engineers and getting the project done right.

When it’s time to strategize your management techniques, you need to be analytical about the process. First, you need to rely on what you see. Notice the traits and behaviors of your top performers. Second, analyze what you observe. Use these ideas to develop management techniques specific to your employees, keeping them satisfied, motivated and productive.

5 Tips For Managing Your Engineering Employees

Hold frequent one-on-one meetings.

Conduct causal, conversational performance reviews to examine an employee’s individual progress, as well as understand how the project is moving as a whole. When you get a grasp of your team’s individual strengths and weaknesses, you can assign future tasks that are more satisfying to your engineers and more productive for workflow.

Give your staff authority in their jobs.

Relax, take a step back and do your own job. Let your employees have ownership of the daily routine tasks, while you focus on the bigger moving parts. Check in and support when needed, but let your engineers hold responsibility for their own tasks. You’ll help increase their job satisfaction, which in turn enhances productivity.

Create a motivating work environment.

Throw that old saying – treat people the way you want to be treated — out the window. Instead, try treating people the way they want to be treated. Take yourself out of the equation. What do your engineers need to be efficient, effective and productive? Studies have shown time and time again that employees who are satisfied with their workplace environment get more done, have more pride in their job and collaborate better on team projects.

Communicate with your staff before taking on additional projects.

There’s a new project coming up, but the current one is still heavy in production. Before agreeing to a new project, talk to your workers to find out where they are in their commitments and workload. Discuss, instead of command, what it will take to get a project completed in a certain amount of time. Even if the final decision from upstairs differs from theirs, they will feel valued that you listened to their opinions and their voices were heard.

Use technology to log events and feedback.

Engineers, no matter what specialization, are typically an analytical bunch. They are problem solvers and critical thinkers. They find satisfaction when they can spot their handprint on a successful project. Give them the kind of feedback that reflects this. Engineers appreciate technology, so giving them performance reviews that they can track will keep them informed, inspired and motivated.

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