Lack of engagement is a significant cause of turnover for engineers. If they don’t feel connected to their work, they will not be happy nor will they be as productive as they could be. Use these strategies to keep your engineers engaged and boost long-term retention.
Let Them Take Ownership of Their Projects
Micromanagement is a surefire engagement killer. Talented people don’t want their supervisor breathing down their necks. They want the freedom to use their skills and expertise to see a project through. Rather than creating a task-focused culture, build a results-driven culture. Let engineers choose the approaches that work best for them and try to embrace more freedom and flexibility.
Provide Learning Opportunities
Engineers have to evolve their skill sets over time. If they are licensed, they will need to take CE credits, but you can keep your engineers engaged by supporting learning opportunities above and beyond the minimum requirements. Sponsor engineers who want to attend conferences or seminars, bring in guest speakers for lunch-and-learn sessions and consider tuition and testing reimbursement for engineers who are pursuing advanced degrees or certifications.
Have A Path For Growth and Advancement
Talented engineers won’t be happy staying stagnant in their careers. They want to grow and advance, and if they feel like they are stuck in place, they will disengage and ultimately seek out new opportunities with another organization. Provide clear – but flexible – paths for growth. During performance reviews, talk to engineers about their short-term and long-term goals, and help them understand the skills and experience they need to take the next step with your company and offer support and guidance along the way.
People naturally want their bosses to recognize when they have gone above and beyond or scored a major win. Take time to show employees that you value their contributions regularly. Recognize people during staff meetings, include writeups in company newsletters and encourage everyone to recognize their peers publicly when they see great work. Finally, make it a habit to simply say “thank you,” or, “great job” when someone scores a win.
Engineering work is high-pressure and challenging. It’s serious business, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun at work. If you want people to enjoy coming to work, you have to go out of your way to make it enjoyable. Have contests, plan fun events like company potluck lunches, bake-offs or cook-offs, bring in a catered lunch or breakfast now and then and sponsor a company outing over the summer to a sporting event.