How to Manage Skilled-but Difficult-IT Workers
There’s a fine line between benign quirks of skilled IT pros and unprofessional behavior, and a new book helps CIOs navigate their management journey.
You should not only match projects according to your talented employees’ strengths and interests, but you should find assignments that stretch their abilities.
There’s a fine line between relatively benign “quirks” of highly skilled IT pros and unprofessional behavior. Establish concrete guidelines and put them in writing.
Major IT talents approach innovation like the solving of a Rubik’s Cube: They want to explore possibilities, make mistakes and discover winning solutions on their own.
Team members aren’t as likely to react negatively to difficult developments if you anticipate them, and then help teams prepare in advance.
Don’t wait for six month or annual reviews. It’s difficult to correct an unfortunate course of action if you don’t do it in real time.
You have to manage conflict, as opposed to avoiding it. Through constructive debate, disputes emerge as an opportunity to share divergent perspectives in the interest of actionable collaboration.
If you don’t give “special talents” their space, they’ll feel stifled and seek outside employment. So don’t get hung up on the “little things,” like office hours or the neatness of an employee’s desk.
Valuable HR managers immerse themselves into the latest findings on engagement, talent management and more. So take advantage of their knowledge base.
Sure, many highly talented IT pros like to provoke or “stir something up.” But it’s your job to help them refocus on business.
It’s not about “defeating” an IT team member who’s on the other side of an issue. It’s about resolving a situation fairly and calmly, and then moving on.