it-employee-moraleAlong with the warmer weather of spring and summer in St. Louis usually comes an increase in the number of burnout cases among employees. The warning signs aren’t always easy to catch, but are real across all kinds of verticals – including technology.  By September, it’s not unlikely to think that even professional baseball players on losing teams are feeling the signs of occupational burnout.

Employee engagement in the IT industry is critical if you want your office to be thought of as a happy place that fosters innovation and drives revenue.

A recent Gallup poll indicates that just 35% of 1,500 surveyed employees currently feel engaged at work, while the tech industry has seen a 3% dip in engagement since 2013.

This summer, pay special attention to engaging your IT staff by focusing on these 4 important areas:

Create a Positive Work Culture

IT staffers may be a different animal when it comes to what they like and dislike, but they’re people too, just like your marketing team.

Motivation is a pre-requisite to IT productivity. If employees aren’t motivated they won’t perform at the level they can and should. Think about an employee’s responsibilities and what can and can’t be accomplished on site. Consider loosening up work-from home policies and allow for more flexible hours to account for when an employee is feeling productive. It’s not uncommon for IT people to be night owls and produce better work at 9 p.m. than they would at 9 a.m.

Summer Fridays – either off work completely or with a work from home option are great ways to freshen up your IT staff for the dog days of summer.

Go One-On-One with IT Staffers to Understand Their Goals

Tom over at the help desk may be burnt out from working on the help desk. He got a bachelor’s degree in Cybersecurity and has his Cisco certification but spends most of his time fixing printers and resetting email passwords for employees. That’s not how Tom wants to spend his day, but it feeds his family.

Management should understand the goals & aspirations of their employees and put them on a path for success. If Tom knows that he could get promoted off the help desk and be given more responsibility within the organization, he may feel more inclined to boost his effort & help the company both in the short & long term.

Trust Goes a Long Way in Driving Confidence & IT Productivity

If management is overly involved in complicated IT matters they don’t understand that can be a blow to both IT productivity & the psyche of a good IT guy.

Saying “I trust you” psychologically goes a long way in turning an average employee with the necessary skills into a true rock star. If your IT guy adamantly proclaims that you need to get with the times and move to the cloud, recommends a certain solution and the pricing is right then trust him. Don’t say “OK, that’s great, but I’m going to go ahead and schedule a call with this other solution you told me doesn’t offer what we need just to get a second opinion.” 

Allow for Constant Learning & Innovation

From onboarding new employees to keeping current employees on top of industry trends, learning is a must in any industry – especially IT.

Bring in speakers, go to conferences – heck, even get on a plane and travel to big conferences just to keep your employees on top of the changing industry.

Think about every aspect of your company culture from the bottom up, drawing constructive and realistic feedback from employees at all levels & find that happy medium that improves morale & makes your employees more productive on the job. At the end of the day, that’s what any business is after regardless of what department an employee is in.

Read more on employee engagement in the IT industry from this article from TechVibes.

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