Teamwork is a vital element for successful engineering. Engineers have to function well in a team-oriented environment to accomplish tasks, especially when working on big projects.
Strong teamwork allows engineers to adjust to changes, adapt to diversity and in turn, increase productivity.
Here are 5 tips on how you can build stronger engineering teams.
1 — Align Goals
It is essential for each engineer to identify and understand the team’s goals to set the direction and the pace of the team.
The overall vision and goals of the team must be stated in measurable terms and directly related to the organization’s mission, vision, values, goals, and objectives.
Team members should have a clear idea of how their individual performances will be measured relative to the team’s performance. With this, each team member can make decisions and work towards agreed goals.
2 — Communicate
Establish and maintain open, honest and respectful communication among team members. Engineers will always have varying ideas and methods to solve problems, so let them speak their mind and be heard.
Each person will have their own experiences, knowledge and opinions which can contribute to getting to the final goal. Allow open discussions, brainstorming sessions and exchange of ideas in a creative learning environment.
Remember engineers are very passionate about their ideas and solutions so create an environment where ideas win not egos.
Try to make room for people who are not vocal about their opinion by asking them if they have anything to add. Encourage people to speak and establish communication with each other for them to work more cooperatively.
Developing teamwork within an engineering environment will increase the whole team’s productivity to get better results and finish tasks faster.
3 — Give and Request Feedback
Either as a member or a leader of an engineering team, be open for feedback and freely give feedback when asked.
Valuable and actionable feedback will cultivate the skills and knowledge of each of the team members as individual workers and will enrich the collective expertise and strength of the engineering team.
Provide feedback in a way that express support and encouragement for the team members especially when they are having difficulties with their assigned task.
The exchange of honest, accurate and constructive feedback within the team builds trust and loyalty that is transferred from project to project.
4 — Create Opportunities for Collaboration
In engineering, it’s common to distribute a project amongst team members and let them work in isolation. But sometimes, doing this reduces motivation due to a lack of interaction.
Team-building activities will contribute to developing strong social ties and teamwork. Schedule some pair-programming exercises and gather together often for social chitchat.
Innovate and try to introduce ways for people to collaborate as part of their normal workflow and which will lead to increased motivation and enthusiasm within the team.
5 — Reduce Complexity
Engineering work demands time, intense concentration and energy so much that engineers are maxed out. As much as possible, reduce code complexity, system complexity, product complexity, and most especially, organizational complexity.
Keep everything simple and easy to understand. Reducing complexity leads to building a stronger team environment especially for engineering teams.
Conflicts, misunderstandings and clashing personalities, beliefs and knowledge are inevitable when working with a team. But all of these will be easier to resolve when there is less complexity in all aspects of the working environment.
A lot that can be done to make your engineering teams more effective, and these are just some ideas to consider. Experiment with different ways and see what works for you.
Make your team stronger by bringing them together, let them communicate freely and apply their strengths towards achieving common goals. Teamwork is developed over time and a great deal of effort to encourage each member to set aside differences and work collaboratively and harmoniously.
Take the time and effort to develop teamwork with your people, and you will see that it will pay huge dividends in return.
If you’re an engineer looking for a change or a hiring manager or HR professional looking to work with a specialist engineering recruiter reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org