5 Tips for Keeping IT Professionals Motivated

January 25, 2012

If you’ve ever worked with information technology (IT) pros before, then you already realize just how unique they are as compared to other employees. Many have spent their entire lives, starting in junior high, perfecting their skills with information processes that the layman would have no clue how to understand. It is this knowledge that can bring power and innovation to any company – without the talent and support that IT professionals bring to the table, an organization of today would all apart in a matter of hours.

While it’s true that these technical geniuses do and see things differently than others, learning how to motivate them can lead to higher levels of creativity and productivity than ever before imagined. Read on to learn more about what makes IT professionals tick, and how to keep them engaged.

  1. Respect them. If you want to get off on the right foot with any IT professional, and keep them motivated, the first step is to pay them the respect they deserve. Many of these talented folks have invested years in learning their craft, giving up precious personal time to complete projects to client specifications, and taking on advanced learning and certifications. To be rude to an IT person means you could be setting yourself up for failure the next time you need help with a technical issue. Instead, treat your IT staff like the life-blood of your business and respect their time and work habits.
  2. Trust them. Want to seriously irritate an IT pro? Try questioning them or challenging them on a topic you know very little about for starters. To motivate your IT staff, instead try asking them to share their expertise and trust their judgment on things. Allow them to do their job without being continually questioned or second-guessed. Your IT staff will do a much better job if they know you have confidence in their ability to do the job well. If you find that junior IT staff are having difficulties, pair them with someone more seasoned or hire an experienced IT project manager to oversee things.
  3. Compensate them. Just like any other type of professional, IT staff need to be compensated adequately for the job that they do. Paying less than the current reasonable salary for a skilled IT professional is not going to get you the results you need. Instead, it will get you delayed projects, bad attitudes and poor overall work performance. Instead, make it a point to pay your IT pros a decent salary, and give them on the job perks to keep them motivated and inspired.
  4. Challenge them. IT professionals thrive on being creative and solving problems. While much of what IT people do may become routine, the last thing you want is for this to happen all the time. Make sure that you allow your IT staff to make suggestions to improve current systems and come up with new innovations to benefit your workplace and your clients. Give them the chance to enter contests and shine for their work. IT staff thrive on new challenges and projects, so allow them this as long as it does not affect operations.
  5. Be patient with them. In the IT world, good things come to those who wait – patiently. That means if you have an issue with something relating to IT support, give your staff time to work on it. Do not submit a help request and then expect the problem to be repaired in one hour. Most IT pros have multiple projects and issues to work on, so they will be more engaged if you allow them to get to it when they are able to focus on it to do a great job.

Want to learn more about keeping your IT staff actively engaged and motivated? Try checking out the Dale Carnegie white paper on Understanding and Engaging IT Professionals offered as a FREE download simply for signing up online.

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