The world’s leading engineering companies and their leadership teams have one mission objective outside of the commercial, to build and retain industry leading, high-performance people that deliver quality products on time.
When building teams of talented people that work together, effectively, especially in challenging environments, leadership must maintain a focus on identifying, hiring and retaining the teams that comprise of the key talent that lies behind every innovation and new product release. Those teams require engineering management of the highest ability as well as those that embody a positive corporate culture and bring out the best in their people. Not through force but through ability enablement and nurturing of individual and team skillsets. Only the top engineering companies can produce this level of productivity, innovation and expertise.
Obviously, hiring the right people is reliant on building an environment where talented people want to work. Somewhere they can use their passion for engineering to grow themselves and the product or service. A culture rooted in growing the strength of a team by growing the market value of every employee, will ensure high levels of team retention through training and investment creating an inherent sense of self-value. In turn creating an atmosphere where personal performance is as important as corporate output and customer perception.
In combination with common perks such as flexible-working hours, games areas, company activities focused on fun and team building, a focus on increasing an employee’s value subsequently improves a company’s reputation and ability to attract the right people at the right time especially when that company is not risk averse and is willing to pursue new technologies, challenges and directions.
A “cultural manifesto” is now as important as the commercial playbook and is an inherent part of building strong and successful engineering teams. A company’s values, goals and working methods comprises more than the ingredients behind an often-empty Mission Statement and is now more a shared experience than a strapline!
The renowned MIT scholar Edward Schein defines culture as a “pattern of basic assumptions” which are discovered, invented and developed by a group as it works towards problem solving. Those basic assumptions, values, and problem-solving techniques become part of the organization’s “culture” as soon as they are codified into something that can be taught to new employees and is essential to the scaling of teams. Especially, in engineering environments such as scrum-teams working in Agile or Waterfall methodologies.