Tell me about a time you developed and retained team members.

Discover strategies to enhance team development and reduce engineer turnover. Learn how to create individual development plans to improve team competency.


In my previous role as a Senior Engineering Manager at Google (Mountain View), our department was facing high turnover rates, and the skill levels within the team were not meeting the company’s evolving demands. We were in the midst of a major project that required a skilled and cohesive team to deliver on tight deadlines.


My primary responsibility was to enhance team development and retention. Specifically, I needed to reduce turnover by 20% within six months and improve team competency to handle new project requirements effectively.


To address these challenges, I implemented a multi-faceted strategy:

  1. Individual Development Plans: I conducted one-on-one meetings with each team member to understand their career aspirations, strengths, and areas for improvement. Based on these discussions, I created tailored development plans for everyone.
  2. Training Programs: I introduced a comprehensive training program that included both in-house workshops and external courses. These programs were designed to fill skill gaps and keep the team updated with the latest industry trends.
  3. Mentorship Program: I paired less experienced team members with senior staff to facilitate knowledge transfer and provide ongoing support.
  4. Regular Feedback and Recognition: I established a culture of regular feedback and recognition. Monthly performance reviews were conducted to provide constructive feedback and recognize achievements, both big and small.
  5. Team Building Activities: To foster team cohesion, I organized regular team-building activities. These ranged from informal gatherings to structured problem-solving exercises.


The results were significant and measurable:

  1. Reduced Turnover: Within six months, our turnover rate decreased by 25%, surpassing our initial goal of a 20% reduction. This was achieved by creating a more engaging and supportive work environment.
  2. Increased Skill Levels: The tailored development plans and training programs led to a 30% improvement in team competency scores, as measured by quarterly performance assessments.
  3. Enhanced Team Morale: The mentorship program and regular recognition efforts resulted in a noticeable boost in team morale. Employee satisfaction surveys showed a 35% increase in overall job satisfaction.
  4. Successful Project Completion: With a more skilled and cohesive team, we were able to complete the major project ahead of schedule and under budget, contributing to a 15% increase in client satisfaction ratings.

By focusing on individual development, continuous learning, and a supportive team culture, I was able to develop and retain team members effectively, leading to measurable improvements in performance and morale.

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