This Week's Herman Trend Alert

Leadership in Normal 2.0

  The Herman Trend Alert

February 2, 2011

IT Employees — Least Engaged...Again

A recent global study found that only 26 percent of Information Technology (IT) employees in North America were fully engaged at work. Nearly as many, 22 percent, are actually disengaged. Those findings are substantially worse than the workforce overall, of which 33 percent were engaged and 18 percent disengaged.

In their "Employee Engagement Report 2011" consulting firm BlessingWhite explored workplace attitudes among employees on four continents. Based on survey responses of nearly 11,000 individuals, the report found many organizations view IT workers, especially those at the helpdesk and maintenance levels, as necessary commodities that are not critical to the organizationís mission or strategy. In addition, they often overlook or underfund the development of technical leaders. Thus, it is not surprising that engagement levels are lower in IT departments than functions closer to strategic decision making and customers like Sales, Human Resources, and Marketing.

Blessing White's study also found that 48 percent of IT employees trust their organizationís senior leaders, while 76 percent of non-IT employees trust their immediate manager. The top the drivers of satisfaction and contribution for IT employees are career development and training.

Moreover, the study found that "Trust in executives can have more than twice the impact on engagement levels than trust in their immediate managers does. In spite of this fact, employees are more likely to trust their immediate supervisors (72 percent) than the executives (52 percent) in their organizations."

The top reason Asian employees consider leaving is the lack of career opportunities (23 percent). The most vulnerable are, of those employees in Generation Y (25 percent) are "on the fence" and six percent are ready to leave now. Of those considering a move, IT employees are most likely to leave to pursue career advancement or more fulfilling work, two of the main drivers of employee engagement.

A growing percentage of IT employees worldwide is ready to leave their companies. People will stay for the opportunity to meaningfully contribute. Armed with this information wise employers will find ways to support their employees in giving of themselves to their companies and communities. As qualified people become available, companies will offer disengaged employees "creative career redirection opportunities".

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