Motivating Technical Employees

by William F. Peck, (M.ASCE), Pres.; Technical Management Consultants, Inc., Atlanta, GA,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1993, Vol. 63, Issue 4, Pg. 68-69

Document Type: Feature article


The traditional methods of motivating employees—offers of higher pay and better perks—often fail to inspire technical employees, leaving their managers scratching their heads. But a review of classical management theory, and more modern data, may provide some answers. Unlike many types of workers, who seek only to gain financially, engineers want to add to their technical and professional prowess as well. Managers can tap into that by making information, challenges and responsibility available to their technical employees. Recent studies have shown that when managers share information about the firm and its plans for the future, employees respond with greater commitment to those plans. This has turned out to be especially true for technical employees, a group naturally prone to asking questions and analyzing data. Giving them opportunities to tackle the challenges involved in making those plans real, and the authority to make important decisions about technical matters adds to the sense of involvement and commitment engineers feel. This commitment must be sincerely returned by management, however. Leaders looking to motivate a technical work force must recognize the importance of those workers and value them accordingly.

Subject Headings: Managers | Information management | Motivation | Employees | Labor | Financial management

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