IT managers need to make sure that their IT team is a smoothly running machine. There are many different things that they can do in order to make sure that this happens. Hiring the right employees is a great way to start. Taking steps to keep employee moral high and ensuring that employees are motivated are both important. However, as an IT manager, you need to also know what kind of things that you need to make sure are not present in your team.
Although I would suspect that most people would describe themselves as being an honest person, all too often we discover that this is not always the case. If you discover that members of your team are dishonest and struggle to tell the truth, then can you really afford to have them on your team? You won’t be able to trust them to accurately communicate with either you or the rest of their team. Their dishonesty can end up imposing a false reality on both their life and the people that they end up working with.
Bored employees will not be productive employees. Your most successful employees will be the ones who are constantly exploring something new. Employees who are not seeking out new experiences and knowledge are the ones who will be unable to change as the team grows and changes. Bored employees will not be willing to lead projects, investigate problems, or help customers. These are not people that you want to have on your team.
If the people in your team are not striving to improve both themselves and their job performance, then their results will start to show it. If they are willing to live with “good enough” then the team is quickly going to gain a reputation for being slow to respond to customer needs and for delivering solutions that are late and don’t perform to customer expectations. The overall value of the team will go down in the eyes of your customers and their willingness to fund your team will decrease.
The one thing that you don’t want to hear in your team are phrases like “that won’t work here” or “that’s not how we do things”. Negativity is very much like a heavy weight that can easily spread from one employee to another. Negativity causes innovation to slowly start to die and will result in employees not being willing to take on additional work. Complaining takes away from the work that needs to be done and does not help to find solutions to the problems and challenges that the team is facing.
Some people bring a toxic environment along with them. The result of this is that when other people are asked to work with them, they develop a feeling of dread and they start to feel tired. There is just something about these people that makes others actively not want to work with them. You simply cannot afford to have them as a part of your team because of the negative impact that they will have on the team’s productivity.
What All Of This Means For You
When a chef is at work in a kitchen creating great meals, it’s the ingredients that he or she chooses to use that will have a lasting impact on the quality of the food that they can prepare. As an IT manager, you are responsible for creating IT solutions that can power the entire company. You’ll do this using the staff that you have on your team. This means that you’ll want to make sure that you don’t have any rotten apples in your kitchen.
The quality of the workers that you have will have a big impact on the quality of the product that you’ll be able to produce. They may be able to produce good code, but just as importantly a worker’s personality can have an impact on the entire department. You are going to want to make sure that your team does not have any dishonesty, boredom, mediocrity, negativity, or toxicity.
In the end it’s all pretty simple. As an IT manager you are going to have to know who you have working for you. You need to make sure that your people have the positive characteristics that you need and that they don’t have the negative characteristics that can kill a team. Keep your eyes open and make sure that you’ve got the good people and not the bad ones.
– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World IT Management Skills™
Question For You: If you discover that your team has people with bad personalities, what steps should you take?
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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time
As an IT manager, it’s your responsibility to stay on top of the quality of the employees that you have working on your team. In most teams this means that at least once a year you will have everyone engage in an evaluation process. During this process each team member will be ranked based on their value to the team and to the company. This sounds like a valuable thing to do, but what happens when a member of your team receives a ranking that they don’t believe that they deserve?