Acknowledging a job well done can go a long way especially for professionals who are the driving force behind an enterprise's business operations, notes Vijay Gupta, director-global human resources at Rahi, a tech solutions provider.
Today's enterprise environment provides a hotbed of opportunities and challenges for tech professionals.
With COVID-19 creating numerous hurdles for business operations, business leaders turned to their IT team to navigate the crisis which helped elevate the status of IT professionals.
However, it has also been responsible for the emergence of workplace issues.
Challenges such as lack of growth, keeping up with technological advancements, and feeling disconnected and disrespected at the workplace are plaguing today’s professionals working in the enterprise world.
While tech and HR leaders are at the forefront to address these challenges, they cannot do it in silos.
It is critical that these leaders collaborate to assess the challenges their employees are facing.
There should be meetings on a frequent basis to understand the pain points, create new initiatives to address them, provide a roadmap for their growth, and much more.
Here are ten issues professionals are facing in India and what organizations can do in order to tackle them:
1. Increased workload
Majority of the IT staff and decision-makers are overwhelmed with work demands.
In fact, the continuous pressure due to high workload is creating stress with two in five professionals at a high burnout risk as per mental well being platform Yerbo's The State of Burnout in Tech 2022 report (external link).
Many decision-makers are using a higher workload as an excuse to not authorise training for their employees resulting in their staff's inability to meet assignment timelines due to a lack of skills, further exacerbating frustration at the workplace.
The time, which was allocated for learning and development (L&D) is now being utilised to chase deadlines.
Most IT professionals admit that a mounting workload is limiting the amount of time they can spend out of the office or in upskilling themselves.
A concrete management strategy is needed to address these issues.
Organisations can also consider opting for tools to reduce time-consuming tasks that are not on high priority.
2. Keeping up with technological evolution
Technology is innovating at an unprecedented pace.
As soon as a tool or software emerges, it seems like something else is already in the process that will render its usage.
For professionals working in the tech industry, keeping themselves up-to-date with rapidly changing technologies can be intimidating.
This will only worsen if organisations expect their employees to adapt to these changes without giving adequate training.
It is vital that organisations take time to ensure their teams are keeping pace with the times.
3. Feeling disconnected
While the remote and hybrid environments have provided employees with much-needed flexibility, it is also making them feel disconnected from the workplace.
This especially holds true for employees who have recently transitioned into a new job.
Feeling a lack of connectedness at the workplace often stems from employees not being able to understand and blend with the enterprise culture.
For a vast majority of employees, a good work culture is essential to be effective at their jobs.
Organisations should also emphasise on supporting employees with their life experiences.
Doing so can have a positive impact on the employees’ overall well-being while also making them more productive.
4. Lack of career advancement opportunities
A survey from cloud learning platform Talentlms revealed that over 41% of tech professionals quit their jobs due to a lack of career progression.
In fact, career advancement is more important for tech professionals than a higher salary when deciding to switch firms.
With CIOs already facing a talent crunch, letting go of their top talent can stifle their ongoing digital transformation initiatives.
The solution is to collaborate with HR leaders to invest in employees’ skill sets and help them excel in their careers.
This will also develop a positive outlook of employees towards the organization and many of them will think of staying back in the long run.
5. In-flexible schedules and workplace
Most remote employees often must juggle between work and family commitments.
This means that working between a 9-5 work schedule is not feasible for them.
Also, with many employees still pushing to or favoring remote work, being called back to the office is not something they are enthusiastic about.
Majority of today's professionals expect flexible schedules and flexible work arrangements.
Employees admitted that having flexible work arrangements significantly influenced their decision to stay with their employer.
6. Poor work-life balance
Work-life balance has always been a tricky area in the enterprise landscape as most IT professionals are expected to put in long work hours.
But this doesn't translate into productivity and along with disrupting their work-life balance, can also have a negative impact on the employee's overall well-being.
More employees today prefer to work for an enterprise that provides work-life balance.
Hence, organisations should start evaluating the work-life balance at their organisation.
They should include this critical element into their culture itself and give importance to time off and the notion that rest and relaxation are vital for peak productivity.
7. Poor collaboration
Fostering a collaborative culture is still a major issue troubling the tech industry.
With teams spread out in different geographical locations, not having an effective collaboration experience can have detrimental effects on their morale and team bonding.
Most tech professionals get stressed out when their tools or lack of teamwork cannot help them to get their tasks done or meet their personal career goals.
One of the ways to establish a culture of collaboration is by communicating the vision and ensuring that the team is aligned with it.
Leaders should have transparent and open communication and set realistic expectations so that their team members are aware of their roles and responsibilities.
Additionally, they should establish the norms around communication, equality, decision-making and provide the right set of tools that enable them to collaborate with team members irrespective of their geographical location.
This provides everyone more visibility into projects and creates more opportunities for people to work on the same task.
8. Workplace toxicity
At least 1 out of 3 professionals feel that a toxic workplace is a top reason for quitting their jobs.
Organisations should understand that a toxic work culture is not just the result of the misbehaviour of a few employees, but a management issue that is often present in the absence of strong leadership.
Therefore, the leadership of the organisation should take necessary steps toward understanding the negative signs, tensions, or dysfunction in the present working environment.
Tech leaders should collaborate with HR counterparts to know how they can collectively eliminate the toxicity and re-establish a sense of safety and security at the workplace.
Organisational culture is always a top-down approach, it emanates at the top and then trickles down.
9. Not feeling appreciated
Often, the management team only reaches out to employees when something is going wrong.
This ends up creating a negative perception of the value that employees bring to the table.
While constructive criticism is crucial for learning, acknowledging a job well done can go a long way especially for professionals who are the driving force behind an enterprise's business operations.
By acknowledging and appreciating the hard work employees have been putting in for the organisation, leaders can create a positive perception of their value to their employees.
It also establishes the senior management as being empathetic and thoughtful leaders.
Furthermore, it leads to a cascading effect with peer groups, senior executives, praising team members instead of ignoring the achievements of colleagues and thus, creating a positive and collaborative work environment.
10. Lack of motivation
The continuous upheaval due to rapid advancement in technology, coupled with poor work-life balance has plummeted the motivation of tech professionals.
This results in employees -- even the performers -- struggling to deliver expected results.
To help employees reach their full potential, organisations should eliminate communication barriers and identify aspects that keep their employees engaged.
While organisations can ask them directly, they can distribute an anonymous survey to get honest feedback.
They must create a list of factors such as better pay and acknowledgment for great work and ask the staff to rank in order of what motivates them the most.
This will provide clarity to senior management on what aspects of their work and culture they should address first.
The dynamic nature of today's enterprise landscape is creating and introducing new workplace challenges for professionals in the tech industry.
While it is difficult to completely eliminate them, tech and HR leaders can mitigate issues and constraints by fostering a culture of respect, work-life balance and creating an environment where employees can thrive.