Instead of pursuing visions of all-star engineers, managers need to develop an atmosphere that promotes autonomy, mastery and purpose.
You’ve heard about them — the elusive engineers that seemingly move mountains, create miracles and build products from scratch overnight. As these so-called “10x engineers
” have risen to prominence, they’ve become targets for recruiters at Silicon Valley startups and titans alike. Some engineers are even taking the lead from Hollywood
by hiring talent agents to find them the best jobs.
Startups see 10x engineers as their answer to growth hurdles, product dilemmas and go-to-market hiccups. There’s only one problem: 10x engineers don’t exist.
The misconception about highly productive engineers centers around their origin. You simply can’t hire them in and wait for incredible growth. When companies are able to source incredible developers it’s because they’ve worked with them for years to reach their potential, not because they stumbled across the right resume or because they know someone who knows someone promising.
Creating all-star engineers means improving your understanding of what motivates not just engineers, but any human. Having helped build our engineering team to 100 people from scratch, I subscribe to career analyst Dan Pink’s motivation formula, which promotes autonomy, mastery and purpose rather than taking the carrot and stick approach that’s used across so many industries and in so many companies today.
There seem to be two schools of thought regarding management of engineers. The classic approach is close management, sometimes even micro-management.
Among the problems with this is that your engineers are, or should be, the experts in their job. The job of management is not to manage the minute-by-minute tasks of engineers, but rather to point them in the correct direction.
The value of management is in clearing obstacles from the path of engineers. If you’re constantly micro-managing your engineers, it takes away their autonomy. It takes away their ability to make decisions. The net effect of that is the reduction of motivation.
The second school of thought, especially in startups, is the idea that management is not necessary. This idea is also mistaken.
Many of the companies that pushed this idea early on in their growth have now reverted to more traditional management structures. Again, managers play an important role clearing a path to allow engineering autonomy to exist.
People generally want to do good work. It makes sense, then, that Boston Consulting Group recently found learning and career development as a major contributor to employee satisfaction, above job security, company values — even salary. The ability to achieve mastery is something every all-star engineer looks for in prospective employers.
We all want to do jobs that matter. One way to inspire purpose in your employees is by mapping their role to their broader career goals. Screening for purposeful workers will make you that much more likely to develop the elusive highly productive engineers that can transform your business. The other part of purpose comes down to the vision that managers and executives are responsible for reinforcing.
While you should never pin your company’s prospects on a single employee or talent pool, there are ways to cultivate a culture of transformative talent. Instead of a traditional incentive-based approach to performance, companies should work to align their values with their employees’ values wherever possible.
Your engineers, like the rest of your employees, are constantly striving to achieve autonomy, mastery and purpose in their work lives — whether or not you realize it. By motivating employees with what truly drives them every day, you can assemble a whole team of all-star engineers.
–Tyler McMullen (@tbmcmullen) is CTO of Fastly,https: //www.eetimes.com/12/16/16).
—Coaxial Components Corp (Coaxicom.com), Stuart, Florida, December 19, 2016.
Coaxicom has continued to be a rising star, not just within the United States, but internationally as well. Coaxicom’s high quality standards and unrivaled manufacturing procedures have earned them the accolades of their Customers world-wide.
As the new year begins, and Coaxial Components Corp. (Coaxicom) enters its 34rd year of engineering and manufacturing quality microwave and RF connectors, Head of Operations, Julian Andrews, once again leads the way by understanding that companies must do more than just provide “off the shelf” products at a low cost. At Coaxicom we have always prided ourselves on service and have long known that at the heart of all manufacturing/business transactions are two personal relationships. The simplest can be summed up in four words: someone sells, someone buys. And yes, cost is certainly a consideration but do customers always buy based on impersonal factors like price? The answer is no. That is why Mr. Andrews and entire team embraces a 360-degree approach to manufacturing that strives for complete satisfaction. A boutique manufacturer in Florida, this philosophy is not new but rather a continued pledge in a time of increased anonymity and apathy in the world of manufacturing. Other companies may be larger, but Coaxicom makes the customer the top priority and will simply get things done. This dedication to service leads to increased efficiencies which results in significant savings-both in time and money.
It’s a demand oriented world with time being a precious commodity and 2017 will certainly be no different. For Coaxicom that means knowing what our customers want and finding quick, innovative ways to deliver it with care….and appreciation.
For more information, engineering support, request a quote or latest catalog, visit the website www.Coaxicom.com or email Sales@Coaxicom.com.