Welcome to the 21st Century where all IT workers now view themselves as temporary workers. The constant cycles of downsizing and outsourcing have made even the most committed workers view their jobs as being not so much as a career, but rather as a temporary pit-stop.
Add to this situation the arrival of the young Generation Y workers and all of a sudden an IT manager has a situation on his/her hands that they were never trained to handle. Put all of these factors together and suddenly company loyalty is a thing of the past.
The way that IT employees used to move forward is also something that is going out the door. Gen Y IT workers are actively looking for career paths that have shorter steps. What this means for IT managers is that they need to find ways to understand what the expectations of their team members are. Once this is known, the manager will need to make sure that opportunities to gain experience are made available.
As though this was not complicated enough, an IT manager needs to be careful. There are also lots of IT employees who have been working their way up the career ladder using the traditional route and they are not going to be happy if others start moving up quicker than they did.
One thing that may help IT managers is that their companies are also changing. We are starting to see companies moving away from the traditional seniority-based IT career paths and are now starting to focus more on employee performance and future potential. This can mix things up as good workers of all ages start to move up through the ranks.
The tools that are used in the IT workplace reflect the new reality of the office. Face-to-face contact is going by the wayside more and more often. This is due to work groups that are spread out and workloads that seem to be always increasing. Just like phone conferences replaced fact-to-face meetings, emails replaced phone conferences, now IM and texting are replacing emails.
It turns out that loyalty still exists in IT departments – it’s just no longer given to the company. A great IT leader or a project that has real merit will capture the attention of jaded IT workers as well as Gen Y workers. IT managers who can clearly communicate a driving purpose for the work that is being done will always attract the best and the brightest workers. No company loyalty required.
Contact Blue Elephant Consulting to find out what you need to be doing today to become more successful tomorrow!