5 things engineering managers can do to keep employees productive

February 12, 2017

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.

Celebrate diversity

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.

Reward performance

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:

Is your engineering team not performing the way you want it to?

Let’s talk

Ryan Harijanto

Head of Engineering. Former Sr. Engineer @Netflix , @HotelTonight , @Shutterstock. Previously a Senior Systems Engineer at Netflix, currently technology advisor and board member for emerging companies. Diverse technological knowledge and understanding of various industries.

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