Photo by Tool., Inc on Unsplash”

Is it a challenge to keep your engineers motivated while maximizing the impact of the R&D budget?

Anand Ramachandran

Stretching the R&D budget in the tight labor market     

The R&D manager is responsible for maximizing the impact of the approved budget.  Wide range of factors such as managing the overheads, keeping the payroll stable and consistent, motivating the team by providing adequate challenges and support to the team etc. decides the longevity of the business.  The present political & economic climate,  fluctuating interest rates, shortage of right talent in key industries etc. aggravates this challenge.

R&D dollars are investment or cost?

Any dollar spent is a cost – and so is R&D dollars!  How can the R&D manager keep the “COST” in control, get the things done and maximize the value add to the team – all at the same time?

Engineers usually seek challenges such as new methods, tools, complex activities, creating new features and functions etc.  For this, they need coaching, guidance and training.  “Learning by doing” is the most effective and preferred mode of acquiring new skills.  Effective engagement with external talent that has a knowledge / skills level fit as well as personality fit is key for the re-skilling of engineers.

External talent – What is their return on investment?

The key for the return on investment of external talent is to specify the output they have to deliver.  Just hour registration-based engagement may get some work done, but may not be sustainable because of low ROI.  To increase the ROI of the dollar spent on the external talent, the key element is the specifying of the deliverables – getting the work done and at the same time increasing the skills level of the internal resources in a measurable way along with clear metrics.

Want to know more? Stay tuned for the next part of this article, or reach out to

Image credit: Photo by Tool., Inc on Unsplash”

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