Technology professionals enjoyed their largest annual salary growth since 2008, according to the latest Dice Tech Salary Survey. Great news for CIOs, but not so much for those on entry-level salaries, whose pay continues to be pushed downward. So what’s the best way of motivating the future leaders within your firm?
Here’s five suggestions for incentivising without loosening the purse strings:
1. offering a reasonable bonus and/or perks scheme
Despite heavy banker-bashing dominating talk of bonuses in this time of austerity, there is still a place for reasonable performance-related bonus scheme. According to Dice, the size of average bonuses is up 8% to $8,769, and the number of technology professionals receiving bonuses: 32% in 2011, compared with 29% in 2010 and 24% in 2009. The telecoms, IT hardware, software, banking and utilities/energy sectors are most likely to pay bonuses.
Establishing a system of perks for hard workers can also help to boost morale. Here’s a great slideshow of the sorts of perks the young guns could expect should they become CEO.
2. establish potential career paths within your organisation
Further aspiration can come through a business having clear leadership career paths for employees to be aware of and make a professional target. These targets will enforce an appreciation for their work that stems from both the company’s and their personal best interests.
IT leaders surveyed by Foote Partners say they're seeking IT professionals who can help their companies innovate, who possess industry knowledge, customer awareness and proven experience. They want people who can wear multiple hats and jump from job to job. CIOs that can inspire the younger generation to embrace these changes and work hard to achieve business goals will reap the rewards of a loyal workforce.
3. make use of innovation and the plethora of new devices coming out
Offering employees more access to consumer devices and apps that they are comfortable with (or allowing a BYOD scheme) could be viewed positively as a differentiator as an employer. Using preferred devices could also help to boost productivity, whilst also helping to resolve IT issues faster.
CIOs can ensure organisations are able to quickly identify key challenges such devices will present to their infrastructure and assign duties to the relevant staff to ensure that all relevant security is in place and employees are able to continue working with minimum disruption via the foreign device.
4. get to know what motivates your employees the most
According to Alice Hill, Managing Director, Dice.com: “The tech professionals who are helping their companies gain more insight into their cost structures, customer behavior and emerging trends are those who keep doing what they like best.”
CIOs must seek to understand morale amongst their employees and address issues if they feel someone is not enjoying the work they are doing, ensuring that business objectives are being achieved and employees remain loyal to their firm.
5. encourage downtime
The simplest solution of them all. All employees enjoy downtime, and where possible CIOs should embrace the opportunity to encourage and build closer workplace bonds. This will help to encourage greater teamwork and shared learnings, which will help younger workers to earn their stripes (and eventually the pay to match).
A study published three years ago by scientists at the University of Melbourne concluded that the mental relief provided to workers from planned downtime or even judicious use of social media sites, blogs and YouTube during office hours increased productivity by 9% because it can fuel commitment, enthusiasm and a collective sense of purpose and achievement. It also can keep people accountable, which is never a bad thing.
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Joe Fernandez is a technology writer and blogger for Futurity Media. As a journalist, he was an editor on Computer Weekly and Microscope magazines and worked as a deputy editor for Marketing Week and its sister title Pitch covering online marketing and social media developments. Joe has also appeared in titles including New Media Age, Guardian Computing, Computing Magazine, The Inquirer and Mobile Magazine.