IT Professionals Are Stressed, CIOs Can Help

Stressed IT ProCompanies around the world that are looking to land information technology talent have encountered issues finding the highly skilled employees they so badly seek. As a result, organizations continue to create advanced jobs within their tech departments, only to have a bulk of these positions go unfilled.

With this so-called “skills gap” impacting industries on the international level, recruitment has not been the only focus of many businesses’ HR efforts; retention has quickly become a top priority. Although a share of chief information officers may be under the impression that their staff members are satisfied with their positions, a recent study shows otherwise, which means retaining employees is likely not as easy as anticipated.

Job satisfaction and retention go hand-in-hand. Given that a multitude of companies are scrambling to fill vacancies with viable candidates, IT executives cannot afford to have their existing team members unhappy and flipping through the classifieds. If CIOs do not take their tech representatives’ contentment with their current employment situation into serious consideration, they could be running the risk of losing invaluable manpower.

Survey says tech staffs are stressed
In some cases, professionals may not think that this is even a problem in their departments. However, the IT Admin Stress Survey conducted by GFI Software revealed that tech employees throughout the U.S. are significantly stressed, experiencing poor work-life balance. If representatives are more anxious about their work, the likelihood of them leaving their job is bound to increase.

According to the poll, 77 percent of IT employees reported that their jobs were stressful. While such a sizeable proportion of professionals who feel this way about their employment situation is noteworthy in and of itself, the fact that this indicates a 12 percent increase from last year’s survey makes it even more concerning.

As the poll explored the various stressors that could be contributing to IT representatives feeling so tense about their employment, it was clear that they are required to work hard, but have few chances to play hard. For example, 35 percent stated that they missed out on family time due to their jobs, while 38 percent reported they could not make social functions.

In addition to infringing on tech professionals’ personal time, these jobs have had an impact on their health. Illnesses prompted by employment anxiety, as well as loss of sleep, were common complaints.

As one can imagine, all of this pent up stress surrounding work could be a driving force for representatives to explore other employment options. To prevent this from happening, CIOs have to address the main reasons their staff members are tense so that they can resolve any issues and reduce their anxiety. Among the most significant stressors impacting these employees are poor management, low compensation and lengthy work days. Because these professionals tend to be pressed for time so that they can complete complex for their companies, they often put in extra hours without additional compensation so they can get the job done, meeting overly ambitious deadlines set by management.

Drive retention with engagement
If CIOs have the green light from the rest of the C-suite to increase budgets and prolong projects, they should do so, reducing the pressure placed on IT staff members and providing them with proportional compensation. However, these may not be possible for tech executives, which means they will have to find other methods to retain representatives.

Helpmates pointed out that employee engagement, which CIOs can boost by offering a couple of perks, is vital to improving retention. For instance, clear and consistent communication is crucial to keep staff members. With every decision that management makes, there should be some sort of discussion with employees, giving them a chance to voice their opinions and weigh in on any changes being made throughout their departments and companies as a whole. Additionally, informing IT staff members of the developments that could affect them and asking for feedback will show employees they are included in everything, making them feel valued.

At the same time, CIOs may want to demonstrate that they care about their representatives’ ability to enjoy their personal lives. By offering opportunities to work remotely or take advantage of flex-time, tech executives could convey that they are willing to accommodate their employees. This will allow representatives to see that they are actually being viewed as human beings, which could better guarantee job satisfaction and retention.

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