How to be Seen as a Fair Engineering Manager


If you are an engineering manager, then being seen as fair is essential. Any ambiguity in this area can be especially harmful, potentially breeding discontent and hurting morale.

Ultimately, it comes down to treating everyone with respect while also being transparent and fair with your decisions. If you want to make sure that you are seen as a fair engineering manager, here’s what you need to do.

Avoid Playing Favorites

One of the quickest ways to ensure that you are seen as an unfair manager is to play favorites. This can include anything from not holding specific employees accountable to applying different standards to various members of your team to giving certain workers preferential treatment based on their activities outside of work.

Any time one or more employees is blatantly being treated differently than others trouble is almost guaranteed. Instead of adjusting the standards for certain workers, the same requirements and level of accountability must pertain to everyone under your purview. This ensures that everyone understands that the rules always apply to them, as well as everyone else, in equal measure.

Hold Yourself Accountable

If you want everyone to adhere to specific guidelines and standards, then you must meet those requirements yourself. Any time the rules don’t seem to apply to you, even if you enforce them universally among your team, it doesn’t make a positive impression about how fair you are in the workplace.

Often, the easiest way to do this is to make sure you don’t just talk the talk but walk the walk as well. Otherwise, your team will quickly lose trust in you and won’t see you as a fair engineering manager.

Be Honest and Transparent

At times, you level of fairness may be called into question simply because your team doesn’t understand what shaped your decision or why certain rules are in place. The easiest way to remedy this situation is to communicate with them regularly, letting them know they “whys” behind any particular decision.

When situations arise where you can’t disclose everything, let your team know the reasoning behind that as well. By providing them with some level of information, you can alleviate any concerns about the decision, at least to a degree.

Consider the Impact

As you make regular decisions, like work or shift assignments, consider how your choices are affecting those around you as well as how it could be perceived. For example, if you have a superstar worker that you always turn to for last-minute assignments, does everyone consider this approach fair? Are you overloading your go-to person or keeping others from having great opportunities?

Ultimately, these questions can be hard to ask, but they are vital if you want to ensure that you aren’t incidentally treating someone unfairly simply because you have never considered the impact before.

Being a fair engineering manager does take effort, but it can be done, especially if you embrace the tips listed above. If you are looking for more information, the professionals at Bayside Solutions can help. Contact us to speak with one of our knowledgeable staff members today.