How to Keep IT
Staff Happy"> Training Training is often seen as a job benefit or perk, with management forgetting that advancing employees skills creates more value for the company. Furthermore, when a company is unable to reimburse an employee for job-relevant training, that can make a really bad impression on the professional."I was refused free training this year because they didnt want to spend $500 on for the travel, food and lodging expenses associated with the three days of trainingyet the catered lunches havent stopped," Hess said.Bonuses for bringing in business Its not only salespeople that bring in business, but theyre often the only ones that get bonuses for it. "Even though I wasnt in sales, I brought in a lot of new business; in particular, a huge federal contract worth millions. At the end of the year, only the guys in sales got bonuses. I should have been entitled to a sales bonus," said a former independent consultant and IT specialist in New Jersey who asked not to be identified. Banked vacation time While IT workers are far from being the only professionals who wish they could bank their vacation time, many feel that theyd benefit the most from it. To read about how IT workers cope with working on holidays, click here. "If you burn a whole extra 8 to 10 hours one week working your butt off over late hours putting in an upgrade, responding to tech fires, burning your weekends doing the same or having to kill your entire Sunday to fly out to a customer for the company to be there Monday morning, you should be able to take that time off soon," the independent consultant said. Too often, the consultant told eWEEK, those in IT are working while the rest of the company is on holiday, and arent given enough time to plan their own vacations when the work slows down. Recognition IT professionals are rarely recognized for the good they do. "Typically, IT staff is only noticed when something goes wrong, which contributes heavily [to] job dissatisfaction and burnout," Joe Brockmeier, editor-in-chief of Linux Magazine, told eWEEK. But when desktops are connecting to the Web, when printers arent on the fritz and when no passwords need to be reset, IT workers rarely hear from the rest of their colleagues or bosses. Treat IT as a profit center One of the biggest ways that IT professionals can feel undermined at work is when their organizations treat their departments as if they are cost centers rather than profit centers. "A lot of organizations seem to be reluctant to spend money on IT [staff and equipment] with the same enthusiasm and vigor that they put into, say, advertising," Brockmeier said. An effective IT infrastructure contributes positively to a companys bottom line, even if its a bit more difficult to draw a straight line between IT and profit. Check out eWEEK.coms Careers Center for the latest news, analysis and commentary on careers for IT professionals.