Help engineers find meaning in their work

No amount of scholarships can win an engineer's heart if he is unhappy with the job or workplace ("Offer scholarships to make engineering more attractive" by Mr Andrew Seow Chwee Guan; Feb 22).

To retain engineers, companies must help them find professional opportunity, satisfaction, reward and growth. They must keep engineers close to the excitement of solving problems and creating products.

Indeed, it boils down to making engineers feel valued and recognised, by creating a place where they enjoy working and where they get meaning out of their work.

Forging such a workplace is always a work in progress, and some companies are better at it than others.

Engineers are no different from other employees.

If the organisation pays a fair salary and constantly shows the engineer that he is valued, the chance of him leaving is small.

One other factor that engineers may consider is the style and ability of their managers.

Engineers do not lean in the direction of being competent managers, and that is something employers need to work closely with them on.

Ultimately, employers must recognise the need to make the workplace a community that speaks to engineers on both a social and professional level, with a focus on creating an environment where engineers want to stay.

Francis Cheng