Tech departments have a culture all their own. Because IT work demands a high degree of skill with no margin for error, IT professionals tend to prize results over personality. It’s a mix that leads to outstanding performance in the best tech staff, but it’s also a mix that can leave managers rattled.
Here’s how to manage tech talent effectively:
- Offer career development. IT staff often have more loyalty to their own career path than to any one company, especially in a market that values their work and makes good IT people tough to find. To keep them motivated, make sure your IT staff have in-house opportunities to develop their own strengths, improve their weaknesses, and expand their skill sets.
- Promote project ownership and creative development. IT workers uniformly report more satisfaction on the job when they have the chance to “own” a project or to contribute creative influence to a project. Whenever possible, place projects in the hands of the IT department. The company supplies the overall vision, goals, and timeline; the IT staff make it happen.
- Create and maintain a strong onboarding program. Most employees decide in the first few months whether accepting a job offer was the right move, and IT staff are no different. To make this decision a positive one, create strong onboarding program that brings new IT staff into the culture and engages them in the workflow from day one.
- Strike a work-life balance. Project deadlines, fast-paced work, and sudden emergencies all take their toll on IT staff. Make sure project management and schedules are allocated to help workers maintain a work-life balance. IT departments are a great place to consider flex time or telecommuting options that will help workers stay productive while avoiding the effects of burnout.
- The intense focus on results in IT work often means that IT staff’s communication follows the same pattern. Talk to IT employees regularly, and take their requests for help or recommendations for process changes seriously.
- Clarify their advancement opportunities. Because IT staff are career-focused, the lack of a clear path “up” often pushes them onto a clear path “out.” Managers can help reduce this risk by sitting down with IT staff midyear, as well as at the annual performance review, and working out concrete plans for their advancement in the organization.
At Burnett’s Staffing, our recruiters can help you find and retain the best tech talent available. If you’re located in Arlington, Dallas-Fort Worth, Las Colinas, or Arlington, give us a call today!