Management is normally a complex issue and the management style of the workplace usually determines the outcome. Technical proficiency especially for those working in IT firms is associated with competence and trust between the staff and the management. This paper examines management and motivation ways that can help increase productivity and shape leadership in the software and internet sector. It, therefore, discusses how to deal with multi-cultural and different gender employees in a workplace; empowerment of employees as well as the number of working hours for technical employees in a typical workweek.
Managing IT professionals
IT professionals need to work for average hours of not more than eight as they have to involve much brain and physical work. Assimilating technological innovations may not be easy at times and could lead to mental stress. They, therefore, need much time to relax their brains and think over the technical parts of a new design or technology. They also need some time for creativity which is very critical for IT firms.
Technical staff such as software developers do not need much or negative pressure to perform their jobs, particularly during the software development process. They should be given a realistic timeline to finish their job. The staff should be involved in preparing the timeline for their part. The manager or supervisor should be able to adopt pair programming which is an innovative shared software development method. This produces quality software within a shorter period and also helps achieve greater satisfaction for software developers. The manager should be able to reconcile the individual differences as well as task conflicts that may occur during the software development process. They should also understand that task conflicts to some extent can enhance performance. Low and moderate levels actually enhance performance, on the other hand, high levels are likely to lower positive results.
Diversity among IT professional staff usually results in a positive outcome. Diversity in an organization includes different gender, age, and ethnicity/race. IT managers should therefore be able to manage the disparities in diversity perceptions that occur among groups. Meeting the IT skills challenges has become critical in IT firms creating the need for a multifaceted approach. Diversity in the software and internet industry requires the creation of mentoring networks to create diversity competency in the organization (Payton & White, 2003).
Experiences of both women and men working as IT professionals in the software and internet industry will always differ in particular ways as they adopt and also adapt to applying the technological innovations. Employees tend to perceive the compatibility of the technology or the changes being assimilated along gender lines. These changes are normally the precursor to stress although the cause of stress is relative to each gender. Managers and supervisors should therefore understand the different perceptions of each gender and provide necessary supervision and support to help each adapt to the new technology (Trauth & Quesenberry, 2007). According to Gallivan (2003), women often experience higher levels of stress when adopting new technology. IT professional women should also be included in discursive practices. This would help combine technical practices and skills needed to come up with solutions to problems. In a workplace where the staff consists of diverse professionals in terms of gender, age or race/ethnicity, promotions and appraisals should be well structured and qualifications and benchmarks be made clear to everybody. Remuneration and promotions should be made on merit and not be based along other unfair lines.
Empowerment of IT professionals
It is also important that managers empower their IT professionals both technically and in decision making. The information technology industry is fast-changing and is marked with increasing innovations. IT managers, therefore, need to initiate an integrative learning strategy that takes a holistic IT training and retraining of the organization’s IT professionals through the formulation of comprehensive learning strategies (Bosttrom, Olfman & Sein, 2003). In e-commerce, for example, the growth of the internet has created the need for IT professionals to build as well as maintain e-commerce programs. Ecommerce sites have various challenges to users especially in supporting secure transactions. They should be given adequate retraining and development as well as providing continuous updates of the latest advancements in information technology which is necessary for supporting the e-commerce programs and operations. They should also be empowered to integrate creative users’ ideas with reliable technology. Besides, the IT staff should be involved in making decisions in all projects and other issues within the company. They should be involved in the planning and budgeting of every project. This would make the project set a realistic timeline and operate under a practical budget.
The IT industry is very complex and therefore managers have to be keen and provide good leadership to ensure a quality outcome. They should be able to set appropriate work hours for their staff and should also empower them through training and enlisting their participation. Managers and supervisors have to understand the perceptual differences that come as a result of diversity in the workplace and be able to reconcile them and help the various groups that exist adopt and adapt to the new technologies.
IT managers should try and earn the respect of their teams by utilizing their unique perspectives as well as abilities while integrating the views and the creative ideas of the IT staff. He or she has to help his or her group to shine through investing in their development and empowering their decision-making capacity.
Bosttrom, R. P, Olfman, L. & Sein, M. K. (2003). A best-practice based model for information technology learning strategy. New York: Association of Computing Machinery.
Gallivan, M. (2003). Examining gender differences in IT professionals’ perceptions of job stress in response to technological change. New York: Association for Computing Machinery.
Payton, F. C, & White, S. D. (2003).Views from field of mentoring and roles of mentoring for minority IT doctoral students. New York: Association for Computing Machinery.
Trauth, E, & Quesenberry, J. (2007). What do women want? An investigation of career anchors among women in the IT workforce. Proceedings of the 2007 ACM SIGMIS CPR conference on Computer personnel research: The global information technology workforce. Missouri: St. Louis.