Why do engineers in IT trust leaders who both lead and follow
April 5, 2023
min read

Why do engineers in IT trust leaders who both lead and follow

Rudi Bauer
Rudi Bauer

The link between leadership and the company culture it’s known and explored in many ways, but not the same with employee engagement and leadership impact on it.

Why is this impact so important? Dangerously enough, it takes days for employees to lose a positive perception of their leadership and three to six months to recover. This is similar across all industries and especially in tech, where the trust-building factor plays a significant part in motivation and, more importantly, achieving company or startup success.

Usually defined as a process whereby one individual influences a group of people to achieve a common goal, leadership describes effective leaders that are able to influence employees to achieve the goals of their organizations. That way, leaders have the capacity to impact the engagement levels of their employees directly.

More importantly, real engagement comes from a sense of belonging.

Paying attention to your people

Paying attention to your people is paramount, as they are your most valuable asset.

Positioning yourself as a leader among engineers as ‘one of us’ helps decrease authoritative impact and, at the same time, amplifies trust that continuously grows. Those who just lead will easily fall into the trap of becoming authoritarian leaders unable to convince their team. Instead, individuals who call themselves followers can rise through the ranks to become leaders.

engineers trues leadership in IT

When observing the facts that can be brought by employee engagement, it’s obvious why leaders are under significant pressure today:

  • Engineers who are engaged in their work are happy and more productive
  • 29% of engineers consider quitting their company because of superiors
  • Employees are more likely to be engaged when goals are set by their superiors
  • Leaders focused on employee weaknesses disengages employees

Good leaders have to develop a sense to become supportive, offering feedback and recognizing employees' hard work, at the same time being self-aware to assess if they are setting a good example for those who will follow.

Combining multiple assets to achieve organizational health

The problem is that people are often just left to get on with their job without the right level of guidance or support. Leaders who tend to be there for their employees and both lead and follow must combine multiple assets to achieve organizational health.

Leaders who provide guidance to their employees through consistency take a definite step in the right direction. Bringing new routines and breakthroughs into the current routine defines leaders who both lead and follow.

Being transparent and open to employee communication is one of the greatest contributing factors to employee engagement. Engineers care about the feedback given by their superiors, naming it as the primary factor of support in our survey. Since the pandemic brought leaders closer to their employees and made them intentional communicators, it’s crucial to maintain closeness between them and avoid returning to the pre-pandemic inaccessibility today.

engineers trues leadership in IT

Leaders who are caring enough to explain their decisions using numerous updates limit employees to interpret changes the way they understand, and usually in a bad way. Hosting meeting updates maintains engagement and builds trust in leaders who both lead and follow.

The natural ability to lead exists in many of us, but no one has been born with everything. Learning from other leaders at any level contributes to understanding better areas for improvement while at the same time growing your organization to become more attractive for the promising IT talent.

Forming a company purpose is a task for leaders

Creating a purpose is closely correlated with employee engagement. Leaders have great influence and responsibility when it comes to the purpose-creation process, as workers will more likely look forward to going to work every day if they know why. Engineers look favorably to companies that offer social goods packages as part of their benefits package. In many ways, engineers will be engaged as they have a leader who is enthusiastic about the future, knowing that career development contributes to it.


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