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Employee Engagement Equation for Engineering Managers

Source | LinkedIn : By Mayank Malik

When I started my first career in IT 17 years ago, the term “employee engagement” was unknown to me. I was hyper excited about going to work every day.  Nobody had to motivate me about going above and beyond.  I loved my job, worked hard, stayed late, and gave my all, because I was on a mission to excel in my career and do things that mattered. Maybe you feel the same way about your first job.

Along the way on my career path, I ran into some mediocre & some exceptional bosses and learned to work with them. However, now that I am a ‘manager’, I have a perspective on what employees want from their managers. These are the same things that all of us wanted from our bosses when we were starting out  – to know that our seniors care about our careers, are going to give us chances to succeed, value our opinions, and make us feel like our work matters and is contributing to organizational goals and objectives. So as a boss, I did all the right things I could think of to grow the business by working in alignment with senior leaders. At the same time, with a good intention I also kept appreciating my team by words and actions.

The goal we undertook for the year was successful in that we were able to take a deep, broad look to understand our priorities, plan our actions, and identify team to engage, align, inspire and achieve success. We excelled in influencing customers and stakeholders across the organization and created an impact which benefited our business.

Then came the model and assessment to measure the qualities which matters most in any team, viz. HR tools like employee engagement, check-in and team effectiveness. The tool revealed that scores on ‘employee engagement’ – which measured my team’s engagement with the organization, could have been better and I decided to figure it out. So, being from Technical and Engineering background, I created and tried to solve this engagement equation:

Work + ? = Employee Engagement

So what variables I must add to improve engagement? Alternatively, if I rearrange variables, I’ll get another interesting equation which all of us can solve:

Work + Engagement = ?

The solutions to this equation are:

  • Work + Engagement = Enhanced Customer Experience
  • Work + Engagement = Delighted Customer
  • Work + Engagement = Scale the Business
  • Work + Engagement = Improved Revenue
  • Work + Engagement = Better Performance
  • Work + Engagement = Increased Employee Retention
  • Work + Engagement = Circle of Innovation


So, going back to original employee engagement equation, the possible solutions could be:

  • Work + Effective Leadership = Engagement
  • Work + Energy = Engagement
  • Work + Growth Opportunities = Engagement
  • Work + Motivation = Engagement
  • Work + Pizza Parties = Engagement
  • Work + Visibility across Org = Engagement

There could be many more solutions for how to engage employees at work and as Technical & Engineering Managers it is important to understand that there is no definitive equation for how to engage employees at work, like E = MC^2 in physics. But here are many pairing of work plus something else to create a better employee engagement equation. I encourage you to discover the missing pieces which you can add to work that will create better employee engagements.

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