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Managing Technical Employees

Emily A. Sterrett, Ph.D., SPHR

Course Outline

This course is a six-hour online course that teaches technical, professional, and project managers how to achieve outstanding performance from those who report to them. It teaches you how to get results through other people. Emphasis is on the fundamental techniques of building better communications and teamwork, improving performance, personal integrity, quality and customer service, delegating work, handling conflict productively, and leading change.

This course includes a multiple-choice quiz at the end, which is designed to enhance the understanding of the course materials.

Learning Objective

At the conclusion of this course, the student will know and understand:

Intended Audience

This course is intended for engineers, architects, land surveyors, inspectors, contractors, and related technical professionals whose job responsibility includes managing and supervising employees, as well as project management.

Benefit to Attendees

The benefit of this course for those who complete it is that they will be more effective and productive in their leadership roles, experience less frustration and stress, and achieve better performance from their employees. Attendees will have greater confidence and will positively impact their career development by adding value to the organization. There is virtually no limit for the person who is both highly knowledgeable in his or her specialty area and has outstanding human relations skills.

Course Content

The course content is in a PDF file Managing Technical Employees. You need to open or download above documents to study this course.

Course Summary

Your employees may be different in some ways from people who work in other fields. Certain types of people tend to gravitate to certain fields. There are often fundamental similarities between successful people in the same field. Your employees may, for example, be more comfortable with those aspects of their jobs that rely on their knowledge and expertise than those that require teamwork and communication. It is possible that they may be slow to respond to your efforts to develop greater trust and collaboration. It is also possible that some of the ideas suggested in this course may seem either far too simple to be effective or too difficult for you to put into practice because you may be uncomfortable with relationship-building yourself. When you are in a leadership role, however, building strong relationships is not an option; it is the essential foundation of your work. Applied consistently, these techniques work. Period.

No matter who the employee-no matter their specialty, their rank in the organization, their race, their gender, their age, their life experiences-no matter what "difference" you think may make them unique and separate them from people in other fields, one thing is universally true: people appreciate being treated well, and they will respond and perform better when treated well. That's all this course is about, in the final analysis. Whether you have brilliant, well-recognized experts working for you or whether you have laborers with little education, whether they are from Mexico, Ghana, or the US, whether they are your best employee or your worst, human nature is hard-wired to respond better to positive than negative consequences. If you have learned nothing else, learn this truth and use it to guide your behavior. Remember this universal truth in order to improve your own leadership effectiveness and generate higher performance among those who report to you. Leading and managing in the ways described here will help you achieve better results.

As you think back over this course, be totally honest with yourself. The more frustration you are experiencing in leading and managing your people, the more you need to heed the ideas in this course. What area or areas particularly "hit home" for you? If there were one or more areas where you winced as you read the material, go back to that section and set yourself a goal in that area. Specifically, think of a particular action or behavior that you can do differently now that you know a better way-a way that has a higher likelihood of producing the outcome you desire. Make a commitment to focus on that goal for one full month. Make a note in your planner or PDA one month from today to reassess after your first month of improving your leadership behavior. How did you do? What changes do you notice in people's responses? You can keep setting new behavioral goals.

It's up to you. You can make this course simply an exercise in fulfilling your obligation for educational credit. Or you can make it count for something more-a genuine improvement in your leadership style. You can make the changes if you decide to do so. You have the tools. It's in your hands!


Once you finish studying the above course content, you need to take a quiz to obtain the PDH credits.

Take a Quiz

DISCLAIMER: The materials contained in the online course are not intended as a representation or warranty on the part of PDH Center or any other person/organization named herein. The materials are for general information only. They are not a substitute for competent professional advice. Application of this information to a specific project should be reviewed by a registered architect and/or professional engineer/surveyor. Anyone making use of the information set forth herein does so at their own risk and assumes any and all resulting liability arising therefrom.