5 Habits of Highly Successful Engineering Managers


Many engineers hope to transition into the management ranks. After all, it allows them to move forward in their career by taking on a role that goes beyond the individual contributor level. Plus, the transition can be lucrative, which can make it even more appealing.

While most engineers have solid technical capabilities, it takes more than hard skills to be a great manager. If you want to make sure that you’ll succeed once you move up, here are five habits of highly successful engineering managers worth adopting as your own.

  1. Smiling

If you want to craft a positive work environment, a simple smile can make a world of difference. Not only does it make you feel happier and less stressed, but it also affects those around you. When your team sees that you are happy, it makes you seem approachable and friendly. This can significantly boost morale, leading to a great sense of comradery and increasing productivity.

  1. Praise

Having someone tell you that you’re doing an outstanding job feels wonderful. It makes a person feel seen and indicates that their efforts are valued.

By regularly (and publicly) expressing your appreciation for your team, you are creating a positive culture. Recognition can breed confidence, as it lets the employee know that they are on the right track and that their contributions are valuable in the eyes of management.

  1. Connection

Successful engineering managers understand that their team is more than a group of employees; they’re people. Getting to know your team beyond their professional capabilities is crucial for making a connection, ensuring the relationships are strong.

While you don’t need to delve too deep, learning about their interests and finding out about their lives outside of the workplace is a good idea. It creates an environment that feels cohesive and psychologically safe, increasing the odds that everyone can be at their best.

  1. Accessible

Managers who spend their days locked inside their office aren’t going to thrive. It makes management seem separate from their teams, and that doesn’t foster a sense of community.

While every moment of every day doesn’t have to be open to your team, you do need to be accessible overall. Spend time working near them, interact with them frequently, and adopt as much of an open-door policy as you can while still remaining productive yourself.

  1. Empower

Managing a team does involve delegation. However, if you take that to mean that you can order your team around, you might not excel in your role.

Instead of giving orders, strive to empower your team to do their best work. Once you assign a task, provide them with a degree of autonomy on how it is done. Gather their input during decision-making processes and respect their expertise. Make continuous improvement a joint effort where everyone has a chance to get involved.

Ultimately, being a highly successful engineer manager requires more than just overseeing your team. By adopting the habits above, you can increase your odds of thriving in your role and help your team reach new heights along the way.

Build a Better Engineering Team with Bayside Solutions

If you’d like to more about how to be an amazing leader, the professionals at Bayside Solutions can help. Contact us to speak with a member of our knowledgeable staff today and see how our leadership expertise can benefit you.