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3. What matters surprisingly little: leading-edge tech, promotions, culture ...
Potential for promotion is cited by only 18% of staffers and managers. As mentioned earlier, company culture isn't hugely important (19% of staff). My guess is workers don't care about "culture" per se--a culture of valuing people matters only if it results in good pay and benefits and flexible work schedules, which rate high on the "what matters" list. But in terms of actions CIOs can take, look at two other data points that rate low on the importance scale.
The first is that neither staffers nor managers are all that worried about their work being important to the company. This is interesting: IT pros find it very important that their opinion and knowledge are valued, but they aren't very worried about their work being important to the company's success. For IT staffers, the percentage that cited each of these factors as important are:
My opinion and knowledge are valued: 40%
My work (job) is important to the company's success: 22%
It's not necessarily that IT pros don't care about contributing to company success. It's that the contribution matters only if they're recognized for that effort. People don't get an inherent "I helped the team" warm-and-fuzzy; they get it from "I helped the team, and the coach knows it." It's the age-old need for CIOs to recognize good work.
The second point is that working with leading-edge technology and creating innovative IT solutions rank low in what matters to employees--each with only 21%. We like to think of techies as always jumping on the latest and greatest, but the data suggests not everyone's wired for that degree of change.
This finding doesn't mean IT leaders needn't worry about keeping people on fresh projects. For a healthy segment of tech pros, "new" is their drug, and if you deprive them, they'll find it somewhere--either by pushing new things inside your company, or going elsewhere if that approach is discouraged. We tend to think of craving the "latest and greatest" as part of the IT pro DNA--the data suggests it isn't. So CIOs can't presume that most IT pros they approach with a hot new project will do cartwheels over the chance. And if CIOs are recruiting for someone to constantly do this kind of "latest and greatest" work, they need to screen carefully.
To find out more about Chris Murphy, please visit his page.
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