Tech Pros Need Love, Too: 6 Do and Don'ts to Show More IT Appreciation
With IT so much more in the spotlight the past couple of years, tech pros say they are feeling the love – and the strain.
In our 2022 Workforce and Tech Experience Survey, enterprise IT workers shared that appreciation of IT pros has improved since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic – 88% said they have felt more valued by their company lately.
But they’re also feeling the pressure – often working unpredictable hours to manage multifaceted IT systems, for a hybrid workforce that’s come to expect lightning-fast and around-the-clock resolution.
IT workers in our survey said they want their colleagues to understand that IT is a complex job, where your successes (and stumbles) can impact the entire organization.
How can leaders demonstrate appreciation for the IT staff's vital contributions to the business? Here’s what tech workers want you to know:
Don’t: expect an immediate fix every time.
Understand that “simple” requests aren’t always so simple, say IT workers. 44% of our survey respondents said fixing tech issues “always requires more time than people think.”
A responsive and efficient IT experience is always the goal, but sometimes you need to give a little grace. Remember that not everything can be automated, and sometimes you’re relying on people power – which takes time.
Do: remember that enterprise IT systems need constant maintenance.
There’s so much more to IT than incident response: 44% of IT workers said they want their colleagues to understand that systems and software require constant upkeep and maintenance to work their best. That includes regular app updates, device upgrades, security patches, and more.
That process takes longer on old equipment, another problem plaguing enterprises: 37% of IT staff say out-of-date technology is their biggest organizational tech problem right now – followed by a lack of proper maintenance (16%).
Leaders: remember your “IT homework” and invest in proper maintenance, training, and upgrades before the tech becomes the problem.
Don’t: put it all on your field techs.
Not every tech issue needs a dispatched response. As companies transition to post-pandemic work models, the IT support model is changing again, accommodating employees who are back onsite while continuing to serve remote and hybrid workers with a variety of support options.
Equip employees with the resources and automated systems to resolve smaller tasks on their own and turn to your professional staff for the issues that need their expertise and skill. This saves time and frustration for both your employees and the IT team!
Do: remember IT pros continually educate themselves.
Between day-to-day tasks or after work, your IT pro is very likely studying. In our survey, 41% of IT staff said they wanted colleagues to know about the “endless” process of learning new platforms and applications to sharpen their troubleshooting skills in the ever-changing tech landscape.
Those looking to advance their careers are also taking upskilling courses, hustling to earn advanced certifications, or even applying to cybersecurity graduate programs.
(Proud moment: at Compucom, our field techs hold more than 70,000 certifications – and counting!)
Do: appreciate them when things go right.
Our survey highlights the increasingly central role that technology and support play in everything from employee engagement to productivity to retention. We know that tech frustrations lead to employee churn, and better technology can drive higher retention and engagement.
Yet 45% of IT pros echoed the same sentiment: “it’s easy to blame IT when things go wrong, but we’re underappreciated when things are working right.”
How can business leaders help? A “thank you” is a good start: according to a study by Work.com, 69% of employees say they perform better when they receive timely appreciation and recognition from managers and peers.
Start recognizing your tech teams for the hard (and often unseen) work they do around the clock.
Do: remember that tech drives the employee experience
IT isn’t an easy or glamorous job, but it’s an essential one. When everything is going smoothly, it’s easy to forget your IT staff. But the second a device freezes up or the network connection drops, suddenly they’re the most sought-after people in the building (or virtual office).
With tech playing such a crucial role in today’s digital workplace, it’s important to keep your tech and support teams happy, engaged, and feeling appreciated!
Leaders in every department can practice showing a little thanks — and understanding — to the people who keep everything running smoothly day in and day out.