The message was clear when you left your meeting with the CEO, your organization will not be a laggard in the new digital age. The CEO expects you, as the technology leader, to lead in the adoption of new technologies across the organization. It’s a tremendous and exciting opportunity but it feels like you’re being asked to swallow the ocean. So where to begin?
According to a February 2017 McKinsey report, a major differentiator between organizations leading in digital reinvention and those that are lagging is a strong organizational culture. Strong cultures that did not operate in silos were more aware of digital threats and opportunities, were inclined to agree on the broad organization wide actions that would be required, and could execute on required digital changes across the organization.
So what can an IT leader do to make sure you’re making the right investments and decisions to motivate and engage your team? An important first step is to identify what causes turnover. Understanding turnover considerations can help you best compete for new talent and keep your existing team motivated and committed. According to the Australasian Journal of Information Systems “interesting and challenging work, coupled with responsibility and the belief that supervisors are willing to encourage such” are the best ways to reduce turnover.
When IT professionals are bogged down in routine mundane tasks i.e. “keeping the lights on,” it demotivates them and leads to low job satisfaction which results in turnover. And, if IT professionals feel that their market value is decreasing and they are at risk of being replaced by automation or cheaper labor they will look for alternatives. As an IT leader, show your team you’re invested in their growth and learning so they stay motivated and committed to your organization:
- Draw a bright line between your project plan and the impact that projects will have on your team’s capabilities and the business at large.
- Survey your current workloads and identify areas that are basic and routine and may be de-motivating your team. Look to a quality partner to pick up these tasks.
- Identify administrative tasks that are necessary but tangential to your business’ core mission and explore ways that these tasks can be offloaded or automated.
Recruiting and retaining top IT talent is a consistent challenge. Staff turnover impedes progress on your goals and is extremely expensive. Successful IT leaders will look to provide work opportunities that motivate and challenge their teams to meet professional and personal goals in the digital transformation landscape.