Thursday, December 29, 2016

How to Manage IT Staff

It appears that our planet does not believe in equality and that may perhaps be the reason men are so different. Even if we take the example of an organization, there are several departments manned by various kinds of people. This means as a manager, you will come across different types of employees. Unless you have the imagination and acumen of a copywriter for communicating properly and managing these employees in the right manner, you will be a glorious failure. Let us now look at how you must manage the staff working in the ITdepartment of your organization.

Those who work in the IT sections of organizations are commonly known as geeks and you, as a manager, may think that these geeks are hot-headed, arrogant and egotistic. You may also think that many of these IT people behave like know-it-alls and that they are over-paid. You are not alone. Many managers think like you. In fact, many managers think that handling their IT staff is a nightmare. The following points may help you.

1. There is no denying the fact that these IT staff play a significant role in organizations. If they are not handled properly, their productivity may nose-dive and their performance may be lackadaisical. As a manager, don't forget the fact these geeks are very much different from the rest of the employees working in your organization. Their mindset is completely different and so are their ambitions. But at the same time, they are not impossible to manage, though many of them may be difficult to handle. This means regular management rules may not apply to these folks. You should be as creative as copywriters are.

2. Learning their language and using their terminology may help you in conversing with them more freely. If you fail to take this step, they may look down upon you as a lay-person. In fact, they don't tolerate "ignorant" people. As far as they are concerned, those who do not understand their language are ignorant people. But at the same time, guard against pretending that you understand whatever they talk because they can easily spot it. This means you should patiently and politely ask them to explain those topics you don't understand.

3. IT people hate ambiguity because they are used to ordered reasoning. You should therefore be precise and specific while interacting with them. In other words, you should communicate your message as clearly as copywriters do.

These folks do not like inconsistency also which means if you talk one thing and do just the opposite, they will not put up with it.

4. There may be people with poor communication skills among IT people. You must understand the limitations of such people and handle them accordingly. After all, they are not in the copywriting profession and therefore, you cannot expect them to have impeccable communication skills. Similarly, there are may be employees who lack social skills also. But refrain from pointing out these shortcomings to them or discussing such things with others.

5. IT people like challenges and crisis situations. But don't command them to solve such situations. Instead, request them if they can help you in tiding over the situations.

6. Never micro-manage IT staff. Once you entrust tasks to them, allow them to put appropriate strategies in place so. But your tasks should come with well-defined guidelines. This means you should communicate the desired goals as clearly as a competent copywriter does.

7. IT departments work very well if you create a suitable team environment. But ensure that the teams are not very big. It has been found that the productivity of large teams is low.

8. Identify a leader among the team members but ensure that every member accepts the role of the leader. Otherwise, the leader cannot motivate the members properly.

9. Consult the IT staff of your company while making business decisions. This will not only help you in aligning the projects suitably with business strategies and implementation but in selling the decisions to them. Not only that, IT staff will be able to point out shortcomings or weaknesses, if any, in your strategies also.

In short, IT employees expect that their manager should be supportive, helpful and logical. They also like managers who provide them with clear instructions as competent copywriters do and who adopt a fair approach while handling them. If you have these traits, you can easily manage them and contribute to the success of your company. 

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