The world of IT is still experiencing a lot of change with its workforce.
Shifts in salary expectations and culture have been driven by changes in the economy and the world.
No matter what, you still carry the pressure of implementing, adopting, and supporting digital solutions that will drive organizational growth. It takes a talented bunch with the right skills to make all this change happen while concurrently keeping service levels up to standard in maintaining your existing solutions.
Creating the optimal IT employee experience has become necessary to find, attract, and retain top talent. Today, you have to be able to offer much more than a competitive salary.
87% of senior IT leaders say investing in people is very important.
Here’s our mini guide for building a better IT culture where you put your people first.
It’s time to take a breath and slow down for a moment. The best first thing you can do is listen.
#1 Examine where you are today
Take a look at the current space your teams are working in.
Ask them for honest feedback on their experience working in IT and overall at the company. Would they recommend working there to a colleague or friend? If not, you’ve got some digging to do.
You need a realistic understanding of how employees feel about their workplace experience and what’s behind those feelings. Where do they stem from?
In your research, try asking questions that investigate where there’s conflict, apathy, uncertainty, fear, overwhelm, and isolation. These will be where you uncover the most significant insights and provide an opportunity to make a difference. Why do good employees leave?
We know some employees will never be satisfied, but we’ll focus on the areas you have complete control over.
Before you get too far in, make sure you’re partnering closely with HR.
HR will be your best friend when looking to evaluate and strengthen your IT culture. They will know best practices regarding hiring, onboarding, training and development, and improving diversity and inclusion. While your expertise lies in technology and adoption, their forte is understanding people.
Your employees feel overwhelmed.
Get your teams the support they need
Maybe your team just needs some help. If they’re constantly bogged down by backlogged projects or band-aid fixes put in place by past employees that have since abandoned ship, they will always feel like they’re treading water.
Hand off the mundane work like system maintenance or cloud hosting to a technical staffing or Managed Services partner so your staff can start working on the more valuable and exciting projects that will positively impact your departments and company.
Learn about DataBank’s Amplification Services: Admin – proactive OnBase System Administration support →
Eliminate any burdensome technology
If you have too much technology or too many disconnected systems that don’t talk to one another, re-evaluate what you need to keep and what you can consolidate. Outdated, legacy systems are not only risky and costly to maintain, but they’re a pain to use.
Give your teams access to the information they need the moment they need it.
Are your employees complaining that information is unreliable or difficult to retrieve quickly? Remote work can add an additional layer of complexity because not all employees will speak up when they encounter data or access difficulties.
Having access to the correct data will prevent your teams from:
- spending valuable time on work that’s not aligned with business goals
- wasting resources sifting through wrong or unstructured data
- living in a data silo that makes it more challenging to share information cross-departmentally
…and it’s frustrating.
Consider how your data is collected and find a way to get accurate, usable data during intake. If it’s entering your system correctly but not being updated, consider how you can adjust your processes and expectations within your team to maintain that information.
Leverage automation when possible
Repetitive tasks such as data entry lead to human error and inaccurate data. Not only is it an issue of quality, but it’s also not something people typically want to do.
Automate processes where it makes sense so your employees can focus on more meaningful, innovative work.
Automation also prepares your organization for future disruption, like a recession or pandemic.
Consider how RPA, AI, or Machine Learning might make a difference.
Your employees feel apathetic.
Your employees might be craving appreciation and public recognition for their work. At DataBank, we have a dedicated kudos Slack channel where anyone can drop a line to share praise and gratitude for the work of others. You could develop an employee recognition program that showcases outstanding dedication on a monthly or quarterly basis.
Employees are happier when they feel valued.
Training and development
Employee skills and career development are essential to enabling them to be successful in the areas they want to grow and to ensure you have the right skills on your team to support the technology and processes of the future.
Helping employees learn new skills, sharpen existing skills, or even shadow a new role can reignite their passion for their IT specialty. It also communicates your investment in their future at the company, which is reassuring.
Dedicate a team to innovation
If you have the resources, pull together a specialized team to solve problems and move your organization forward through technology. Concentrating on future-focused initiatives can boost morale and get teams excited about the forward path of the organization. Not to mention, who knows what you’ll knock out with this new team.
Your employees feel isolated.
Help people feel connected.
“It is crucial for managers to set aside time to connect and check in with their teams about topics outside of work. In a remote work environment, this requires more thought
and planning. This could be as simple as starting each call with an icebreaker question to get your team talking about themselves. Little things like this can really go a long way in keeping your team feeling connected. Aside from the everyday interactions, it is the responsibility of the business and leadership teams to create opportunities for employees to interact cross-functionally, get involved, and feel a part of the organization.”
– Allison Carullo VP, Human Resources – DataBank
Get training on working with diverse groups of people.
Empower your managers to create better connections with employees. Training on diversity, equity, and inclusion, emotional intelligence, and mental health and wellness can help employees feel heard and included.
Your employees are fearful of the future.
There’s a lot we’re all worried about these days. Between tech layoffs, hiring slowdowns, inflation, supporting our mental and physical well-being, pandemics, and political and social crises, there’s good reason for employees to be on edge.
Regardless of what’s going on externally, people still have to work. As a leader, you can’t forget that those feelings and conversations bleed into the workplace, so it’s vital to establish a sense of trust in how you communicate with the larger group.
Give as much information as you can upfront to help employees feel at ease, especially if you’re industry has been or will be impacted by external events. Have regular team meetings to discuss your organization’s progress – how are things going?
In addition to communicating with your immediate teams, it’s good to share across the organization the impact your teams have on the company’s success. Constantly work to promote and tell the story of your IT’s value. This builds confidence within your own team but also increases trust across departments.
If investing in your employees or improving their experience isn’t at the top of your priorities, you may find that your hefty goals list will continue to be that.