Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by James Dorian. Her opinions are her own.
If you observe everyone in your organization, who do you think works the hardest? It’s hard to draw a general conclusion, but the members of the IT department certainly look busy all the time.
These are the people who analyze requirements from the management, develop software and test it. When they don’t have new software to work on, they develop updates, troubleshoot problems, and perform daily computer tasks.
Let’s be blunt: if you want the entire organization to be effective, you want to motivate the Internet Technology department to do its job well.
We can’t assume that IT specialists are already motivated just because they chose to work for you. The HR department has great responsibility to enable conditions for each specialist to thrive within the organization.
Let’s see: how can you motivate IT professionals to make their work effective?
Let’s say this is the IT department of a retail chain. You want them to develop an app that allows consumers to see how much they’ve spent, how much they saved, and what coupons they can use. The specialists from the Internet Technology department won’t have a problem to make this happen. But you don’t want them to see it as a routine task. You want everyone to see how the entire organization will benefit from the app.
This app will save the marketing department countless hours down the road. It will build lasting relationships with loyal customers. It will improve the organization’s efficiency and it will bring in more conversions.
Each task the IT department completes helps the business grow. Make them see that. Make them see their role in the chain. When they see how important their work is, they will make it more effective.
When you want the team to achieve a particular goal, you’ll clearly define it. However, you’ll also break down that goal to specific tasks. Instead of letting the team decide on task distribution, try taking part in that process.
Some of the workers are brilliant at capturing and understanding data. You’ll put them in charge of data analytics. Others have been in the organization for a long time, so they understand its vibe. You’ll give them design tasks. Some can speak both techie and non-techie, so you’ll let them create the presentations for the project. You’ll assign creative tasks to the ones who think outside the box. You get the picture.
An employee learns how to be more effective at work when they get tasks, they are truly good. With crisp clarity in task distribution, the members of the IT team won’t waste time and energy in role negotiation.
The IT director doesn’t have to lead all projects. Depending on the specific project, you can assign a team leader who excels at the specific tasks and knows how to communicate effectively at work.
The right leader is both relationship- and task-oriented. Being relationship-oriented means that this person knows how to give instructions and encourage the team members to do a better job. Being task-oriented, means they understand the project in detail.
If it’s a data-heavy project, you’ll choose a team leader who has experience in that area. If it’s a design project, you’ll give the leadership role to a person qualified in that aspect.
When the right team member is in charge of project, it’s more likely for them to create an environment of trust. Everyone knows that this person has relevant knowledge, so they don’t doubt their judgment.
Internet Technology specialists already know if something they developed is good or not that great. The team performs a lot of testing before introducing software or anything else to the organization. Still, they need the feedback from other departments.
Performance reviews are an essential aspect of human resource development. You have to know who contributed with what in a particular IT project. Observe their work and measure the results. Then, you’ll give individual reports to acknowledge their excellent work and give them tips on what to improve.
These individual reviews are not only about giving them your feedback. You should also ask each IT specialist what the organization could do to make their work more inspiring and more comfortable at the same time. Take their remarks into consideration. You’ll encourage them to work more efficiently only if you show you’re listening to them.
Have you heard of so-called “heritage relationships” within organizations? These are the teams that benefit from preexisting relationships. The members know each other really well. Over time, they learned how to communicate effectively at work and they can critique each other’s work without sounding offensive. New teams need time to achieve such a status.
But when new members get between workers who already work well with each other, it’s easier for them to blend in.
You want to benefit from these heritage relationships. When you know that some members of the IT department collaborate well, keep them together. When you hire someone new in this department, bring them closer to these members with strong collaboration. They will create a more welcoming environment for the newbie. They will make the new hire part of the process right from the start.
By looking at the above-listed tips, you’d say they could be extended to other departments, too. You’re right!
However, the members of the IT department have unique character traits and specific work etiquette. A HR specialist has to understand the motivation behind their work, so they can support it.
These are individuals who can be very focused and mindful of details when placed in the right team and the right environment. You’re the one who creates those conditions. When you want the IT department to work effectively, you have to inspire the members as individuals and as part of a team.
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