IT worker morale plunges: analysts

Among the many areas of concern to IT organizations this year, one of the most evident is employee morale, according to the 2004 IT Staffing and Compensation Guide, an annual study released by Stamford, Conn.-based analyst firm Meta Group Inc.

Of the more than 650 companies polled for the study, more than 72 per cent said low IT worker morale is currently a serious issue in their organizations, Meta Group reported.

According to analysts, morale has plunged amongst IT employees who have had to work through a recession, experiencing budget cuts across the enterprise, numerous staff cutbacks, and general sector uncertainty. Productivity is hurt by having fewer people and dollars for projects, and there is a perception that companies do not focus on retention.

About 45 per cent of respondents said they have begun implementing employee recognition programs as a means to boost morale, while 40 per cent have increased skill development opportunities. According to surveyed IT managers, career and professional development programs are used as a means to improve employee morale in 23 per cent and 10 per cent respectively, while four per cent are offering spot monetary incentives.

Most organizations surveyed said they are taking steps to assess the degree of employee dissatisfaction, with 68 per cent indicating they conduct employee satisfaction surveys. Another 38 per cent use the performance review process to obtain employee feedback, and 14 per cent use suggestion boxes to keep the lines of communication with employees open.

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