Motivating Information Technology Employees
Every year around fall or spring time change thousands of employees are forced to work late in the Information Technology field in order to ensure their web applications continue to function when the clocks change. There are several technical challenges that require workers to stay late to ensure their code remains working. Fixing those problems, however, is a motivational issue. How do you motivate I.T. workers to fix the underlying issue that occurs twice a year, rather than having them stay late 2 nights? This is a problem several companies face every day. Many times in I.T. there are issues that can be fixed by simple code changes or scripts but the issues are very simple with manual intervention. However, the basic theme of I.T. is to automate everything. How do we motivate employees that can click two buttons to fix something versus them being motivated enough to write a script that clicks those two buttons automatically?
“I choose a lazy person to do a hard job. Because a lazy person will find an easy way to do it” quoted from Bill Gates. This should be the essential mindset behind most people who work in I.T. It is not necessarily that lazy people work in the technology field, but we strive to make computers work for us rather than against or with us. Another commonly used phrase is “work smarter, not harder.” If there is a task that must be completed everyday but only takes 5 minutes to do, it may not seem beneficial to automate it. However, if one spends an hour automating the 5 minute task, they will never have to spend five minutes doing it ever again and in the long run increase productivity. This is what manager’s struggle with motivating employees to work towards in I.T.
Motivating employees in the workplace is just a matter of helping them reach self-actualization on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory. Nearly all people living in the United States have their first three immediate needs met:...