Handle IT Professionals with care
Source | LinkedIn : By Suman Basu
this article is written based on my experience of handling IT Professionals in different Manufacturing set up but may be applicable for other sectors and also in IT Industry as well. I would like to add one more disclaimer that i have no intention of demeaning or insulting any of my past or present colleagues.
in today’s world the most scary scene of a IT Management is the day when s/he receives a sudden resignation email from one of his close trusted lieutenant.Quite often it comes in the most inappropriate time leaving little opportunities to handle the crisis. In my opinion good sincere and honest technical resource is rare. We receive tons of CVs well written using Resume writers help but they fall apart when we meet the candidate in PI.
So the issue is how to retain your team? what is that special value we can offer so that a person gets attached to the organisation
I would like to segregate the issue in three different categories depending on the skill set. first one may be the group who work as Hand & Feet support .Typically this is the group which codes for us or attain hardware issue or manages network configuration or Info security issues and are the base of the whole set up.. for avoiding repetition let us call this group S1.
the next level is the resource who work in team lead role and normally manage the S1 , coordinate with end users and also provide IT Management to make meaningful MIS to manage the department..Let us call them S2
May be the third level generally are less in number in our department but are the core person who has understood business in a position to design solution manage projects or program and also interacts with Top Management .Let us call them S3
Now let us analyse the need of each sections.
S1 : they are normally youngest lot ,with lot of energy and also can do wonders if guided properly. Their basic needs are:
Cool/Ease of Life,Freedom,Spaces for them , flexi timing, various kind of projects to work for ,learn new technologies, and as a part of compensation better prcentage of cash to spend for .This group also has a very high demand of appreciation for their work. but S1 has a huge problem in manufacturing industry: first since most of them have designations or salary scale which is equivalent to the lowest rung people in shop floor and Sales team and since they are in back office top management never understands their contribution. Top management can see the production done in shop floor or order booked by a young member but can not see the job done by this group and comparison puts them in disparity.. In some not so IT matured manufacturing company I have seen that management asks daily report from this group to understand the importance of work. but it does not n work like this.. S1 has a serious problem with their relationship among other age group of people in Production /shop floor and they quickly concludes that in manufacturing industry they may not have good career and therefore tries to move to large IT Service companies to find utility.. however the story does not change even if they change job as the IT Service company finally deputes them to similar manufacturing or infra company with more limited role. I have seen one of my colleagues working here as a SAP MM junior consultant moved to Infosys revealing after three months that the job does not have the meat which he had with us although the pay packet is almost double..
I feel S 3 and above has a great role to play to protect S1s.. It is recommended that seniors inetract with S1 at regular interval may be formal or informal.. I normally organise a get together cum dinner once in six months to mix with them and understand their issues and also make them feel that they are more important than me in organisation. Since S1 wants more new technologies to work it is advisable to create a environment where new technologies ,innovations of work and also variety of Projects are provided. Sometimes S1 needs some help for their personal problem,getting them a small loan for marriage or helping their Kids in a local school admission goes long way.. introducing their work to Top Management and occasional reward is quite appreciated.
Let us know come to the situation of S2s.. they have already spent considerable time as S1 and understand the pains but now since S2 he has a large challenge of looking him good. This group normally looses touch with S1 skill sets but they would like to project themselves as meaningful. Many a times I have seen some of my S2 colleagues have used job done by a S1 and present to management,undercut performance by another S2 and sometimes have played as a road block to many improvement initiatives just to be sure that their importance is maintained. While in the positive side S2 are very important person in any manufacturing company ..they know the subject matter well , they know the business process back of their hand sometimes much better than their counterparts in Sales /Production..Many of them might have spent long time in organisation and k now some of the vulnerabilities of process also too well.