We all know that unhappy employees are the ones most likely to abandon ship, so it's alarming to see how many IT positions made a recent list of most hated jobs. IT directors were the most unhappy, citing nepotism, cronyism and disrespect. Worse yet, they’re more unhappy than waitresses, janitors or bellhops. Senior Web developers and tech support analysts are also frustrated: They have to deal with employees and executives who don’t understand the technology. And technical specialists say they’re on-call 24 hours a day. Though they try to help people resolve their problems, they feel they're treated with a “palpable level of disrespect.” So how can you help retain these folks? First, nurture a culture of mutual respect by maintaining transparent hiring and promotional practices, encouraging executives to hold focus groups and openly communicate, and having zero tolerance for workplace bullying. Second, recognize top performers and give them tools to develop a career plan so they don’t feel like they’re stuck in a cubicle and a dead-end job. In a recent survey, only 9 percent of business leaders strongly agreed that their companies do a good job of identifying and tracking top-performing and high-potential employees. It’s no wonder that many IT professionals feel unappreciated or ignored. Finally, encourage job shadowing, lunch and learn sessions, and learning partnerships so employees understand each others' roles and responsibilities. People want to help their company succeed by introducing relevant technical solutions and productivity enhancements, but they often feel isolated from the day-to-day business. Remember: These activities don’t require a massive budget but you'll need a plan and executive support to launch a cultural change.
Leslie Stevens-Huffman is a business and careers writer based in Southern California. She has more than 20 years’ experience in the staffing industry and has been writing blog posts, sample resumes and providing sage career advice to the IT professionals in our Dice Community since 2006. Leslie has a bachelor’s degree in English and Journalism from the University of Southern California.
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