Are your company’s technology professionals happy in their jobs?
If so, then congratulations, because your enterprise is one of the lucky few. According to a new study performed for software maker GFI Software, job dissatisfaction among technology pros in the United States is at an all-time high.
Indeed, tech pros are so fed up within their current work situations that eight out of 10 of them – 79 percent, to be exact – are actively looking for other jobs because their current work-related stress levels are so high.
And owners and managers of small and midsize companies should not summarily dismiss that alarming data as something that really only pertains to technology people who work for large corporations. Au contraire. The truth is just the opposite. Only 60 percent of IT workers in the survey’s “large” companies category – those with 500 or more employees – said they’re seriously looking for the exit.
But 71 percent of the pros in companies with only 10 to 49 employees are looking to leave, while a whopping 83 percent of IT folks at midsize companies – those with 250-500 workers – have reached the critical level.
When such a large percentage of any group of employees is so upset with their current work situation, it’s a real business problem that almost certainly is negatively impacting their company’s operations and financial performance, to say nothing of the overall morale within the enterprise.
What Companies Can Do About the Tech Morale Issue
So what can businesses do to talk their critical tech staffers off the metaphoric ledge; especially small and midsize business owners and managers who likely lack the deep pockets necessary to buy even temporary contentment (let alone long-term job satisfaction) among their IT staff? It’s a tough question, and a serious one.
For too many companies, the default answer has been merely to allow disenchanted people to leave and hire someone else. But that doesn’t eliminate the company’s immediate need to have smart, well-trained, productive and properly motivated people providing essential and difference-making support to the company’s sales, operations, accounting and other departments. And, workforce churn has serious costs, too.
In some cases, a good alternative is to seek an opinion from an outside technology consultant who can size up the whole organization and diagnose systemic issues.
An experienced, well-trained team of experts can observe your IT and business operations and interview your personnel to find underlying problems. From there, a plan to remedy those problems can be developed and put into action.
In some cases, the remedy may be a matter of improving workplace dynamics, but there are many other questions to consider:
- What is your technology reporting structure?
- Are staffers trained to deal appropriately with non-technical employees they have to support?
- Are the most skilled and best-trained pros saddled with performing basic tasks (i.e. problem tickets) when they could be/should be tackling the company’s significant technology issues?
- Are undertrained workers being held accountable for work they’re not really qualified to perform?
- Does your staff have the right tools to get the job done?
- Are the company’s tech pros paid appropriately given their levels of training and skills, their value on the open job market, and their contributions to the company? And are they compensated appropriately in non-salary forms such as recognition, bonus time off and promotions?
Clearly, Pay Isn’t the Only Issue
While it may help, simply paying more won’t solve all those issues. Technology workers need help and understanding. Sometimes that means finding more people to handle the workload. Other times it means more and better technical resources to get the job done better and faster. And it nearly always means getting more attention from understanding and sympathetic senior management.
Of course, small and midsize company owners and managers are often stressed and spread so thin themselves that they really can’t spend more time with, and expend more emotional energy on technology. And the option of spending more on resources – human or technical – just isn’t realistic.
That’s where outside experts can help. They can help pinpoint the issues that might exist in your shop and recommend ways of solving them. That might even include allowing a cost-effective, third-party provider take up the slack on routine technology operations so your overworked staff can focus on the business-critical tasks you need them focused on.