IT professionals work long hours in unique conditions which add to their stress and low morale. IT staff work an average of 71 hours each week, according to ComputerWorld. Knowing why a person chooses IT as a career in spite of these demands can help you boost the morale of your IT department.
IT Staff are Problem Solvers
IT people often enter the work force because they are attracted to the challenges of matching technology to solve business problems. One way to keep talented staff and improve morale is to provide paid training. IT professionals are constantly learning new ways to solve problems. Feeling like their company is investing in them, especially monetarily, is a strong motivation. The more skills they acquire, the better able they are to apply them to new problems they must solve.
Training can be done in a variety of ways that makes this effort be seen as a company benefit. Technical conferences offer forums, panel discussions and mini workshops from which the staff gain current information. Offsite training gives the employee a break from their work space allowing them to focus more on the material. In-house training often allows instructors to tailor their training to the company and its goals.
IT Staff are Educators
Many staff members find they enjoy teaching and sharing their technical knowledge. Lunch and learn sessions allow IT team members to present things they have learned. This is also a way of disseminating knowledge one person received from a workshop to the others on the team.
Another similar opportunity is a lunch and learn where the IT staff present to other areas of the company. These discussions are at a higher level and educate the company as to what the IT department actually does. The functions of IT are often misunderstood by others. Creating this communication will make IT team members feel more appreciated.
IT Staff Look for Improvements
Technical people enjoy using the latest tools to be more productive. Often, the simplest of activities can be a time consuming task for IT, such as resetting someone’s password. If you are in a BYOD environment, consider purchasing a mobile device management solution. For example, the MDM capabilities of BlackBerry include such time savers as self-service password resetting.
Investing in tools to allow IT to be more productive is a morale booster. Whenever they can save time, they can be more creative in their work.
IT Staff Like Clear Direction
Giving staff clear expectations reduces speculation and allows the staff to focus on a direction. Confusion and anxiety happens when team members all have a different understanding of the goal.
A goal to “save costs by minimizing the support of end-users” is fairly nebulous and the team will have different ideas as to how to achieve this. Often, a lot of work gets done with little to show for it. A goal of “reducing end-user support by $24,000 in Q3 through the implementation of self-service apps” sets the entire IT team working in one direction.
Lindsey Waldorf is an engineer for a major tech company. She loves writing about tech and mobile trends, when she is not busy playing piano at her local jazz club.