IT worker survey finds management demotivating

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IT worker survey finds management demotivating

Engineers association calls for change.

Professionals association APESMA has urged organisations to review IT workers’ pay, hours, training and responsibilities following a survey about what ‘demotivates’ its members.

In February and March, the association received 257 responses to an online survey targeted at its 1,700 members who were currently working as ICT professionals.

Eighty-five percent claimed to be demotivated by “poor or incompetent management”, while 88 percent reported a lack of recognition or appreciation for their work.

Although 65 percent believed that they had contributed to their organisation surviving the Global Financial Crisis (GFC), only 33 percent felt their contribution was recognised.

More than half (52 percent) said management viewed ICT workers as a “cost which could be cut”, despite its contribution to business productivity.

Three-quarters of respondents called for more training and development, while 77 percent were concerned about “a lack of a clear career path in the industry”, up from 60 percent in 2010.

APESMA chief executive Chris Walton said the association found that many Australian managers had “lost touch with their ICT workforce who are left feeling unmotivated and worried after the GFC”.

Alongside the “significantly demotivating” experience of seeing their colleagues and peers made redundant, half of those surveyed reported receiving more work without being compensated for it.

In the public sector, 81 percent of workers reported receiving a salary increase averaging just over four percent during the previous 12 months.

Only 60 percent of private sector respondents received a salary increase of an average of three percent. APESMA said this reflected a slowing of private sector ICT investment during the GFC.

Fifty-eight percent of engineers surveyed said they planned to change jobs in the next year.

Of those, three in five would reconsider given a salary review, and almost one in five would reconsider if more training and development opportunities were provided.

Report writer Dr Kim Rickard told iTnews that while the survey was small in scale, it allowed APESMA to draw some preliminary conclusions that would "certainly justify further work in the area".

"There are issues around managers with IT responsibilities getting the big picture right," he said.

Those included "understanding the extent and depth of the relationship between IT capability and an organisation's bottom line, as well as recognition being fundamental to talent management and the retention of good staff".

APESMA’s findings (pdf) echoed those of its 2010 survey, in which respondents indicated that salary issues, performance management and recognition, and working hours were concerns.

Walton said APESMA would help its members in the ICT workforce negotiate better remuneration with management or find new, more rewarding jobs.

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