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How to Scare Off Your Best IT People

scaredMuch like a too-clingy relationship, micromanaging your star employees can lead them to look elsewhere for employment. Even if they are excellent at their job and every other aspect (but the overly involved manager) of the position is great, your talented IT staff might head for the hills. As Johnathan Feldman explains, reigning in micromanagement will make all the difference in the future:

 Another talent war is shaping up for 2013, especially for highly skilled people. Demand for tech skills in particular is on the rise, according to 71% of the respondents to a recent InformationWeek survey. Attracting the best and the brightest is hard enough without shooting ourselves in the foot. And we regularly do that in two ways. We don't bring enough message discipline to our recruiting process, instead letting all manner of employees put out feelers on email and social networks without appropriate guidance or checkpoints. And we continue to let managers say and do stupid things, heading off any chance of retaining the best people.

 Pushing away your best IT people can have lasting effects. Perhaps most importantly, it can make your organization look unintelligent. Feldman uses the example of someone sending out a mass email with a simple question and the hope that someone out there will be able to solve a problem. That tells people that your IT people do not know what they are doing. The other issue is that hiring managers are not finding the right IT people for the jobs they need. Sending out mass notifications instead of focusing recruiting on the areas that need attention leaves the hiring manger with more clutter to sort through. In some cases, you end up hiring out of desperation rather than for raw talent. The obvious goal is to hire for talent and foster an environment of success and innovation within your organization. Clearly, this is more easily said than done. However, Feldman suggests taking small steps. These steps could include making employees more accountable for missteps, putting resources towards addressing employee complaints, and working on new hiring techniques. Feldman even goes so far as to suggest that if you really are displeased with an employee you have, maybe attempting to pay them to quit is not the worst idea in the world. Just remember, talent must be fostered, not smothered.

About Anne Grybowski

Anne is a former staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success, with a degree in Media Studies from Penn State University.

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