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Managing Mounting Work Stress and Retaining your IT Staff

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Work stress in the lives of IT staff has become the way of life for them. It is not avoidable; but manageable though. Some of the shocking truths that surfaced in a survey conducted by an employment search site on nearly 7000 U.S. workers concluded that 35% of them had already planned to leave their job & flee the stressful work environment, whereas 42% of these employees had “purposely” sacrificed a designation due to stressful workplace & environment.

Mounting Work Stress and Retaining your IT Staff


Mounting Work Pressures and Stress: Facts and Figures

In spite of seemingly fast economic and staffing developments in many businesses throughout the country, it has been observed that more stress at work places causes job dissatisfaction, and as a result more than two thirds of IT professionals are hunting for new jobs in order to get rid of the pressures levied on them in their designated roles. Nearly 67% professionals working across the IT sector in UK alone said that their job was stressful while almost 73% of those surveyed were looking for a better opportunity as a result of work stress at their current workplaces.

Besides, around 36% of IT, professionals said that they had to heavily compromise with their family time; they could not socialize and often had to sacrifice their personal lives to fulfill the demands of the overrunning issues at work. It was also found that 19% of IT professionals had suffered stress-related illness, while a further 15% complained of poor health as a result of work demands.

Why are Employees Under So Much Stress?

One of the major reasons is that, often organizations try to cut down costs by managing with only half the number of professionals than required. Now this is also because of budget constraints and lack of availability of skilled and experienced staff within their budgeting constrains. As a result IT professionals often find themselves working way beyond their official office timings and above the set 48 hours per week, and still are always burdened with pending tasks, mounting work pressures, and the never ending struggle to meet the deadlines.

Sergio Galindo, General Manager of the Infrastructure Business Unit at a reputed IT organization opined that, “’IT is renowned for being one of the most stressful white-collar jobs to undertake, now more so than ever given the critical role IT plays in everything from ecommerce to facilities management”.

According to Phil Bousfield, Managing Director of a Reputed IT Organization, “If you lose a top salesman, your monthly figures might take a knock, but if you lose a seasoned IT professional, your company might be paralyzed for months.”

What Motivates Employees?

For a manager to motivate IT professionals is by recognizing their actual motivation factors via surveys. In one such example, Google, a reputed web search engine recognized across the globe conducted a survey across the organization. It is noteworthy, that the company offers its employee’s several perks like food coupons, time allocations for work on pet projects, a promise of extending complete support to the employee’s family and providing half the salary amount to the family in case of death of the employee.

A survey was conducted and each member was asked to specify what kind of perks were motivational, it emerged that almost all the members unanimously voted for a good hike in their basic pay packages instead of opting for a bonus, this gave them a sense of security and certainty.

Experts believe that, keeping your IT professionals happy is important, for this engaging project manager who not only involves IT professionals at a technical level in a project, but also allows them to contribute beyond that, is critical. Besides, it is also important for an IT manager to be in touch and communicate with IT professionals on a one on one level.

According to Paul Glen, Author of “Leading Geeks” technically sound people do not respond to orthodox management practices, and with them he says “power is useless”.


Chirag Shivalker
About the Author: Chirag Shivalker heads the Content team at Hi-Tech iSolutions LLP. He has a long history in the BPM space and covers wide range of topics on BPM, Enterprise 2.0 and technology trends in business. He also enjoys writing about how active leadership and development plans can pave path for a process aware organizational culture that helps successful and sustainable process – based management.