Protect your engineering team’s brainpower

What’s your true productivity story? A 5-step framework for engineering managers, team leaders, and executives.

Employee happiness is the hidden heartbeat of your business — especially for developers who require deep, uninterrupted focus to do their best work. So what’s the key to keeping everyone on your team engaged, focused, and forward-moving?

Step 1: Go deeper than surface-level task metrics

Pull requests, commits, and code reviews are the first start. Yes, your team is accomplishing tasks. But there’s more to the narrative. When busywork is high, so are these output metrics.

Step 2: Gain a humanized perspective through data

Take a holistic, human approach to measure the following using anonymous surveys:

  • Efficacy and satisfaction
  • Perceptions about their own productivity
  • Feelings about job satisfaction over time

Developer happiness is crucial to measure and leads to better engineering outcomes. We feel good when we advance meaningful goals.

Step 3: Gain a humanized perspective through data

Productivity drops when developers aren’t able to sustain a flow state—when interruptions, conflicting priorities, or unanswered questions disrupt their work. Here are a few common culprits.


Step 4: Commit to proactive support

As problem-solvers and knowledge workers, developers work with their minds for a living. There’s a unique mix of emotional and mental health considerations to ensure that people do their best work. Here are some recommended areas for leadership teams to focus upon:

Step 5: Level up your collaboration foundation

On engineering teams, neurodiversity is a superpower. With more perspectives, we can uncover new pathways to solving problems. The key to helping everyone feel supported is to create systems for knowledge-sharing and community. As a leader, one of the most powerful steps you can take is to bring your team into the discussion. Truly listen to their concerns and needs. Here are some high-level goals to strive towards:

Support remote work to help technologists focus on their work and control their work environments.
Ensure that people have the right balance of collaboration time with long periods of protected time for deep work.
Enable autonomy so that engineers can focus on remaining empowered and doing their best work.