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Read These Tips For Engineering Managers Providing Feedback

Strong leadership is essential to success in business. Professionals in leadership roles within engineering companies need an in-depth understanding of the company’s products and services as well as the ability to effectively manage employees. They are responsible for creating and sustaining a team of motivated and productive staff members who can meet deadlines within a fast-paced industry while maintaining and exceeding high performance standards.

To achieve peak team performance, managers need well-developed communication skills to clearly articulate expectations and conduct performance reviews. Yet, they must also provide positive, constructive feedback in both day-to-day interactions and periodic reviews. Employees need feedback that covers the positive and negative aspects of their performance. Providing well-rounded feedback can be a difficult task for those in engineering management. Framing positive and negative feedback in a growth-enabling way is a delicate process that requires thoughtful and supportive communication.

At the heart of leadership in engineering management is the ability to inspire employees to their highest performance potential. For starters, managers who clearly communicate expectations provide helpful guidelines and facilitate appropriate training to set their team up for success. Employees who understand a manager’s expectations can better aim for performance benchmarks. Managers who provide effective feedback keep regular logs on employee performance. Logs can be used to document how employees are meeting expectations and where they are falling short, enabling managers to better understand the strengths and weaknesses of each. Logs can take the form of daily notes on employee performance and specific events through emails, pictures and other retrievable documentation. When giving employees feedback, having clear, detailed information is essential to substantiating that feedback. The logs can help managers relate regular performance reviews to day-to-day experience for employees who then have actionable ways to respond to, internalize and apply that feedback.

It should come as no surprise that positive feedback motivates employees to perform better because it makes them feel valued and respected. Praising and rewarding achievement can set a high performance standard as well as foster a positive environment in the workplace. Managers can give positive feedback privately or publicly.

Negative feedback or constructive criticism, on the other hand, should be given in private. This allows employees to learn from and remedy performance faults without feeling publicly humiliated or alienated. Ideally, you can help employees understand how to better use their strengths to meet performance requirements. Framing this feedback positively can have a greater impact on employee performance. In some cases, an employee is better suited for a different role in the company. Moving them into a position that better uses their strengths can benefit not only the employee but also the employer.

When team members can give each other constructive feedback, a manager can gain additional insight into the team’s strengths and weaknesses. Collective peer review can also offer a more objective view of performance than the evaluation of a single manager, and it can foster team building through open communication and collaboration. Also, when employees have a forum to give the manager feedback, the manager can gain insight into his or her own performance as it contributes to team success. It also gives the manager an opportunity to model receiving constructive feedback in a positive way.

The free flow of workplace feedback can enhance team productivity and wellbeing. By earning a degree through an online Master of Engineering Management program, such as the one offered by Arkansas State University, future managers can learn the value of such feedback firsthand and incorporate this knowledge into building and sustaining dream teams.

Learn more about the A-State online MEM program.


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