4 Steps to Build a Productive IT Culture

In the past, productivity was always hindered by the tools at mankind’s disposal. Be it mammoth steaks or steel mills, the social culture around the technology didn’t matter all that much when dealing with physical labor. But now that there’s a rise in intellectual work and stability, there needs to be a shift in the psychological stability of the workplace. In an article for CIO magazine, Eric Bloom gives four steps to help create a more productive culture in IT:

  1. Provide a safe space to work.
  2. Management must care about its people.
  3. Help build relationships between team members.
  4. Build a culture that fosters innovation.

Producing Productive Culture

Bloom stresses from the very beginning that there needs to be a feeling of safety at work:

Being a biologist by original training, [Frank Wander, author of Transforming IT Culture] explained that the Amygala, a portion of the limbic system, is essentially a “threat sensor.” When this sensor is aroused in the workplace, creative thought and problem solving are replaced with a focus on self-preservation, resulting in reduced productivity and lower work quality. Safety within the workplace, of course, means physical safety, but it also means psychological safety, which is created through quality leadership, organizational transparency, fairness and mutual respect. Safety leads to trust. When workers don’t trust their management, only 1 in 12 will be engaged.

The second step is to ensure that your management cares about its people. Your employees aren’t just their number and a title. They’re people, and engaging with them will make them feel like a valued part of the company. Make them feel valued by having management that stresses trust building and loyalty towards its employees.

This focus on individuals goes beyond just a management-down approach. Make sure your employees can build relationships up with one another and have ample opportunities to create friendships. Having a friend at work increase engagement while giving them the social support that a more corporate-mandated version would not.

And last, but certainly not least, build an innovative culture for your employees to come into every day. Being on the cutting edge and trying new things creates an exciting culture to be a part of and can work wonders for engaging your workforce.

For a long discussion, you can view the original article here:

Austin J. Gruver

Austin is a Staff Writer for AITS. He has a background in professional writing from York College.

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