Bringing the spark into IT can be difficult at the best of times. Although your employees may like their jobs, being stuck behind a desk for hours a day doesn’t exactly tend to excite people in the way you would like. At the core of it all, your employees need to feel engaged, interested and fulfilled. If they don’t, they’ll soon become apathetic and disengaged. So, how exactly can you go about this? Well, you need to consider their needs.
Give your IT team a purpose
All good workers want to feel as though they have some purpose and value in the world, and your IT team is no exception. Remind them of what they are working toward every day, and how it will benefit end-users around the globe. A sense of purpose can be a great motivational tool for the right kind of person.
Stay connected as a leader
Although you may be a leader, you can achieve nothing without the hard work of your team. As a result, it is essential to remain intimate and connected as a leader, rather than distant and cold. Informal meetings such as huddles and community service days can bring you and your team closer together, making you more approachable and allowing you to encourage your IT team.
Your IT team will work harder if they feel appreciated. If you think that someone is doing a good job or that the team’s latest project went well, tell them! Even though you may be thinking it, your organization may be critiquing themselves too harshly if you don’t seem to appreciate their work, becoming down and discouraged as a result. It’s Pavlovian Conditioning at the end of the day – you want to reinforce behaviors which you deem to be good.
Remember to be specific and truthful. For example, if your team’s latest project was a success, give them praise and explain why you’re doing so. “The development and optimization of that new functionality was excellent!” is much better than “good job,” which can sound a bit like you’re saying it to “sound nice” or simply for the sake of it. Ideally, try to tell each individual team member what they did well, as this stops them from feeling left out or lost among the crowd.
I hope you enjoyed these tips for bringing the spark to your IT team! Remember to treat your employees as humans – not IT machines – and allow them to shine and excel!