At least four recent studies support findings that IT professionals are among the unhappiest and least-satisfied segments of the corporate workforce.
- Glassdoor reveals the top twenty occupations that bring the most satisfying work-life balance and on this list of twenty, IT is only represented by a couple of occupations.
- A recent survey by consultancy and recruiting firm Healthcare IT Leaders, with IT professionals in the health care sector showed that only one in 10 IT workers were completely satisfied with their job, the rest are actively job hunting or passively open to new opportunities.
- The annual Dice Tech Salary Survey found that satisfaction of IT workers with their pay declined 2 percent in 2014 to only 52 percent of the surveyed workers.
- An employee engagement survey company, TINYpulse, analysed responses to engagement surveys from 2,200 employees working in various functions, including IT, at small, midsize, and large companies in the U.S. TINYpulse found the majority of survey respondents from IT to be largely dissatisfied with various aspects of their jobs.
In the TINYpulse survey, when respondents were asked to rate their happiness at work on a scale of one to 10, (where one represents miserable and 10 represents delighted), only 19 percent of IT professionals rated their happiness a nine or a 10.
The vast majority ranked somewhere between miserable to middling. Overall, respondents from IT were around 14 percent less happy with their work situation than employees from other functions.
Are your IT staff about to move?
Seventy percent of the survey respondents said that they would move for better money.
A smaller percentage (44 percent) said they’d change job for better working conditions and (33 percent) said they’d leave their current employer for more responsibilities.
The Dice survey found two-thirds of the 23,470 respondents said they were confident they could find another job if they wanted. And, 37 percent told Dice that’s what they were going to do this year.
Why so Blue?
IT professionals’ unhappiness at work may stem from a perceived lack of growth and development opportunities with their current employers.
According to TINYpulse’s data, only 36 percent of IT professionals surveyed say they have a clear career path, compared with 50 percent of respondents from other functions.
Moreover, IT professionals, by and large, don’t feel their organizations support their professional interests or career goals.
Just over a quarter (26 percent) rated their organization’s support highly (a nine or a 10) compared with 40 percent of survey respondents in other functions.
How to stem the flow
A lot of organisations are restructuring their IT by undertaking a redesign of the IT operating model.
While a lot of IT operating model redesign work is inspired by business drivers for efficiency, effectiveness and cost reduction – there is a huge benefit (often unplanned and unexpected) that comes with the staff who see greater opportunity for growth and new and increased responsibilities.
It is important that the redesign of the IT operating Model that comes with the new way of “doing IT” and delivers to the business a High Impact IT.
Build a High Impact IT and let the staff grow
The High-Impact IT Operating Model is a new blueprint for the function that brings IT closer to the business, drives greater levels of innovation and expertise, and moves IT from a function of “service delivery” to a driver of strategic enablement and business outcomes.
This can generate new levels of excitement for your IT staff and reduce the overall level of dissatisfaction through three critical principles:
1.High Impact IT is about the business. Business imperatives and insights about the business needs have to guide how IT operates, not the other way around.
2. Nimble is key. When IT demonstrates agility, flexibility, and coordination, it unlocks high business performance throughout the organisation.
3. Beyond the organization. The organisation’s customers, and the external market of the suppliers and service providers, must be integrated within how IT operates.
So while an organisation may only be considering the need to redesign the IT operating model in response to a major strategy play such as outsourcing some of its services or addressing growth through acquisition, it may be absolutely critical for IT to redesign and reinvent itself, simply to give the staff the chance to see new growth opportunities, new focus and new responsibilities, a new lease on life that will dissolve the current levels of IT staff dissatisfaction.