IT managers often get caught up in their daily activities and forget crucial management behaviors. If you’re an IT manager, new or experienced, you should read these tips for becoming a great manager.
Invest Time and Money in Employee Development
The IT industry is constantly evolving and IT professionals should always be learning about new and improving technologies in order to stay ahead of competitors. For that reason, it’s more important in the IT industry than nearly any other field to budget for training and development and encourage your team members to participate in these trainings whenever possible. If you’re tight on budget, there are often free regional presentations and workshops, but you could also set up in-house training. This training is not only necessary but often enjoyable for IT employees and a great way to build IT team morale. You should also consider investing in cross-training exercises, so that all members understand what their colleagues are doing and can take over if anyone takes an extended leave.
Get to Know What Your Staff Does on a Daily Basis
While you don’t need a deep knowledge of all of your personnels’ daily tasks, at least understand your direct reports’ daily routines, so familiarize yourself with each member’s responsibilities and ask each of your members to explain and demonstrate crucial tasks like data backups. This is also helpful if anybody needs to take an extended leave. You can jump in and cover this person’s tasks until you hire backup.
Don’t Do Your Employees’ Work for Them
While it pays off to understand what your staff does on a daily basis — and necessary to be able to complete these tasks if you don’t have direct backup for those on sudden leave, you shouldn’t get in the habit of doing their tasks for them on a regular basis. When you’re in a management role, you need to do everything to help them learn and grow, as there is a very fine line between coaching and doing. There should be an initial training period where you are more involved in their daily tasks, then you should appropriately delegate those tasks and use training strategies to move the tasks into your direct reports’ hands.
Know The Business
All IT managers should understand the company they’re supporting well and use this extensive knowledge to act as a bridge between business goals and technology services and infrastructure. You should also make sure that company executives understand what IT does for them and why the department is so significant, so ensure that you showcase your department’s activities through annual reports, regular communications and project updates.
Communication Should Flow Both Ways
While it’s certainly helpful to communicate vital information to your group, it’s also essential that you get pertinent information from your staff. If you feel that they are not communicating enough with you, consider ways to increase communication. Encourage them to ask questions and speak up especially during conferences, says ComputerWorld.
Encourage collaboration and teamwork in order to avoid the isolation that tends to occur in tech-heavy organizations. It’s useful to have cross-functional teams, since small changes in one department can have a heavy ripple effect across other IT departments. Develop an environment where everyone feels comfortable asking for and giving help to each other. Sharing information freely can help increase efficiency and productivity, as each member has their own strengths and weaknesses.
Provide Regular Feedback
It’s essential to offer regular feedback to your personnel in order to help them know what they’re doing correctly and what they could improve. These conversations do not have to be formal. Rather, you can have casual weekly conversations in addition to more formal performance reviews. Also, make sure you communicate which projects are high-priority and which can be pushed to the side until more priority projects are completed.
Know How to Hire Well
Knowing how to hire the best people is just as important, if not more, than knowing how to manage your department. If you have never had to hire workers before, ask for assistance, as hiring poorly can be expensive. Consider more than simple skills and resumes when hiring. Personality and character traits are crucial aspects to consider when hiring as well. Before hiring someone, you should think about whether the person will integrate well within the existing group.
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