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Training Key to Motivating IT Professionals


A new survey reveals that 75 per cent of IT professionals are so demotivated they are considering changing jobs – but training could be one of the answers.

The survey of nearly 3,000 people was carried out by SWNS, for online learning provider SkillSoft, earlier this summer. Around 11 per cent of respondents belonged to the IT function.

It found that staff are ready to act on their dissatisfaction – 50 per cent of IT managers are either already registered or about to register with a head-hunter or recruitment agency. Meanwhile, 62 per cent of non-managerial IT personnel have an up-to-date CV at the ready.

Both groups admit to checking job websites and job vacancy listings while at work. Eighty per cent of IT managers and 71 per cent of other IT professionals fall into this category; typically checking them more than once a week.

The findings suggest that those working in non-managerial IT roles are the most dissatisfied of all the professions surveyed, with a third saying that they are either “not happy at all” or “not very happy” at work.

Reasons given for their dissatisfaction were:

  • “I don’t earn enough money” (30 per cent).

  • “I’m bored with my job” (23 per cent).

  • “The job doesn’t use my talents and skills” (18 per cent).

  • “The company isn’t investing in me by providing proper training” (14 per cent).

The importance of ensuring that IT professionals are happy at work is emphasised by the fact that 11 per cent of those surveyed have been so fed up that they have been deliberately unhelpful or obstructive to a manager, colleague or customer.

IT managers are the worst culprits, with a staggering 50 per cent admitting to being unhelpful and/or obstructive to a colleague recently. Only 16 per cent of other IT workers make the same confession.

Less serious, but equally unproductive, 70 per cent of IT managers surveyed admit to checking personal emails while they are at work. Thirty per cent do this every time they check their work emails; a further 30 per cent check their personal emails a few times during the day; and 10 per cent admit to logging into their private accounts once a day.

Some of this unproductive activity could simply be down to despondency, especially considering that only 20 per cent of IT managers believe their employer recognises their potential.

Mike Emmott, employee relations advisor for the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, said: “People often don’t feel appreciated by their managers. We have found that line managers don’t do as well as they could in this area – but recognition is critical for employees.”

The survey suggests that given the opportunity, 60 per cent of IT managers and 69 per cent of non-managerial IT staff would jump at the chance to improve their potential and increase their skills.

According to Kevin Young, General Manager of SkillSoft EMEA, investing in IT professionals’ training and development could go a long way towards addressing poor job satisfaction and improving productivity as well as making employees feel more valued and appreciated.

“It’s interesting to discover that over two-thirds of IT professionals would like the opportunity to increase their skills,” he said. “This is an area that could be so easily addressed by employers.

“By investing in developing their employees, organisations can impact on staff retention as well as reaping the benefits of greater productivity.”


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