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Sharing vision can contribute to team engagement

Tal Broner

VP Engineering at Egnyte

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Problem

Oliver, one of my young engineering managers, was leading a team who was performing very well. However, after several months he noticed that the productivity of his team was going down. By observing their behavior, Oliver realized that his engineers were not as motivated as they used to, which surprised him a lot because they were working on very challenging projects. He couldn't understand where this decreasing motivation came from.

Actions taken

Oliver decided to talk more to his engineers, and also came to see me for some advice. He asked me to joined one of their weekly team meetings. There, I asked each of his engineers to tell me on what they were currently working. Several of them were developing core functionalities that were very strategic for the company. I made some comments such as "Wow, interesting, we can't wait for this to be done since it will influence this and this ", but I realized that they had no idea of the impact of the projects on which they were working. They were really focused on delivery and execution, and didn't see the bigger picture. Because of that, they were having a hard time keeping up their energy. After this meeting I had a talk with Oliver and told him where I thought the problem came from. He worked a lot on communicating the strategic vision of the company to his team, and on linking each of their tasks to an objective of the company.

Lessons learned

The role of a manager is not just about making sure that their team delivers well, it is also about making sure that their team members remain motivated. For that, a manager must ensure their team understands why their contribution is important for the company. Engineers are good about knowing "how", but it is the manager's role to make them understand "why" if they want to make the best of their team in the long run.


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Tal Broner

VP Engineering at Egnyte


Leadership DevelopmentCommunicationOrganizational StrategyEngineering ManagementTeam & Project Management

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