How will your business deal with the IT skills shortage and retain its best talent?
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Australia’s Digital Pulse, a recent report from Deloitte, has found that Australia is set to experience an IT skills crisis, with a projected gap of more than 100,000 ICT workers over the next five years. Integration of technology into a wide range of professions – referred to as 'digital disruption' – will fuel much of the demand.
Faced with this skills shortage, how can IT managers build strong and sustainable IT teams? We look at five steps every IT department should take to secure their human assets.
Encourage social interaction
An MIT study found that successful teams allow every team member to have their say, with individual contributions kept short and sweet. Importantly, the research found that when social conversations are encouraged, overall team performance improves. Make sure your IT workers have a space where they can mingle, relax and unwind.
Allow workplace flexibility
The virtual office is now a reality for anyone with a phone, tablet or laptop. It's likely that your IT staff will want the freedom to explore this technology and to use it to complete tasks at a time and place of their choosing. Let your IT team members indulge their 'inner geek' and configure their workspace in a way that allows them to work smarter, not just harder.
Make room for different personalities
IT workers are often perceived as shy and detail-oriented, but in reality you'll probably be dealing with a mixture of introverts, extroverts, big-picture thinkers and laser-focused analysts. Make sure you have the right people sweating the small details, while others are executing bigger strategies. And keep lines of communication open, because even small changes, such as placement of a menu item, can have a big impact.
Give them input on their jobs
Your IT workers are likely to be smart people with lots of ideas about how to improve things. Ensure everyone's voice is heard. With IT budgets continuing to contract, keep in mind that the best ideas for how to save money and improve efficiency will often come from those who are intimately familiar with the technology.
Reward their success
The life of a hardworking IT professional is often marked by long hours, insane deadlines and MacGyver-like acts of technical genius. Ensure both group and individual accomplishments are recognised – whether that means letting your hardest workers go home an hour early on Friday or taking everyone out for a team lunch at the end of the month.
A strong, tightly knit IT team is an enormously valuable asset to any organisation that relies on its technology. Putting your people first is the best strategy.
Find out what other assets you'll need for the future of work with our free white paper.