When it comes to building a thriving engineering workforce, culture matters. A good culture will cultivate an environment of collaboration, efficiency, support and productivity. Culture can also give you a competitive advantage when recruiting engineering talent.
Despite what you may have seen in the media, “culture” isn’t about softball leagues, catered lunches and ping pong tables. It is really a set of values that guide your team members as they move throughout their day. Your unique engineering culture will be based on your organization’s strategies, goals and way of doing business, but there are some common elements found in the most successful engineering teams that you should focus on.
Encourage New Ways of Getting Things Done
Engineers must adhere to strict standards, of course, but that doesn’t mean you have to approach every project or problem the same way. Encourage your team members to think outside of the “usual” ways of doing things and try new approaches. Just because engineering is a science doesn’t mean you can’t innovate. Creative teams are often far more engaged and productive than teams that are never allowed to branch out.
Respect Their Time
Everyone wants to be respected and when you give respect, you’ll receive it in return. Lack of respect leads to friction and dissatisfaction. Respecting engineers is simple. Have confidence in your engineers’ expertise, and always respect their time.
This means minimizing pointless meetings and allowing your talent to focus on getting the job done. If a meeting doesn’t not have a clear purpose, cancel it. When projects require overtime – as they often do – be sensitive to your team’s needs as humans. Yes, the job needs to be done but everyone also needs time to relax and have personal time. Do what you can to minimize unexpected overtime, and when a big push is over, thank everyone for the extra effort and reward them with a lunch or happy hour on the firm, or an unexpected early dismissal on a Friday.
Focus on Feedback
Good engineers want to grow and improve their skills over time. If you want to retain your best people, it pays to invest in their future by understanding their personal career goals and helping them grow by providing ongoing feedback. The more often you provide feedback, the faster they can make changes and the clearer they will be about the steps they need to take to achieve their goals.
It is also important to solicit feedback from your team. Don’t assume that leadership is getting things right 100 percent of the time. Asking engineers to provide input makes them feel valued and can lead to positive changes in the workplace.
Are You Looking for Engineering Talent?
If you have a need for highly skilled engineering talent, reach out to the expert recruiters at Selectek today. We can quickly connect you with the engineering contractors and full-time contributors who will add real value to your existing team and culture.