As an engineering manager, you have one primary task that you have to do very well in order to keep your team running smoothly & productive:
Keep your team happy
So, how do you keep your team happy?
Few things you can do to keep your team happy:
Don’t forget, they are humans, too
Remember, each team member is a person. Each has their own personal needs. While expecting productivity is important to your team’s success, be sure to listen to their needs, too.
Understanding how each team member operates is crucial to keeping your team productive. Not everyone operates the same way as you do. Keep that in mind when making decisions.
Recognizing individual and team achievements is very important to keeping team spirit high. Don’t forget to rewards those who work hard to keep thing running smoothly. It doesn’t have to be extravagant. A simple shout out during a team meeting goes a long way.
Many managers struggle to recognize engineers whose work isn’t tangible. For example, Site Reliability Engineers (SRE) often became the forgotten heroes. Think of them as the fire fighters + fire marshall for your servers. If there’s no “fire”, you can’t really measure their performance. In cases like this, be sure to still show them how much you appreciate their work and contributions.
Focus on “what needs to be done”
And let them figure out how. Don’t try to micro-manage your team. You’ll wear yourself out and your team won’t appreciate it. Offer guidance whenever necessary and trust that your team will do what’s best.
Remember, you’re not their parent. No need to act like one 🙂
Keep non-essential meetings & events optional
Some companies just love having tons of meetings. Engineers hate that.
As a manager, it is your job to shield your team members from non-productive meetings. Remember, more meetings = less work done.
More meetings = less work done
Keep this in mind:
- Happy team = productive team
- Happy team = loyal team
- Happy team = healthier team (gets sick less often)
Is your engineering team not performing the way you want it to?
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