How to Manage Skilled-but Difficult-IT Workers

How to Manage Skilled-but Difficult-IT Workers

How to Manage Skilled-but Difficult-IT WorkersHow 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.

Assign Tasks ThoughtfullyAssign Tasks Thoughtfully

You should not only match projects according to your talented employees’ strengths and interests, but you should find assignments that stretch their abilities.

Set Clear ExpectationsSet Clear Expectations

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.

Tell Them What You Want Done, Not How to Do ItTell Them What You Want Done, Not How to Do It

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.

Articulate Pain PointsArticulate Pain Points

Team members aren’t as likely to react negatively to difficult developments if you anticipate them, and then help teams prepare in advance.

Give Feedback Year-RoundGive Feedback Year-Round

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.

Don't Fear ConflictDon’t Fear Conflict

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.

Lead With Firm Direction but a Light TouchLead With Firm Direction but a Light Touch

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.

Dial In HRDial In HR

Valuable HR managers immerse themselves into the latest findings on engagement, talent management and more. So take advantage of their knowledge base.

Don't Feed DramaDon’t Feed Drama

Sure, many highly talented IT pros like to provoke or “stir something up.” But it’s your job to help them refocus on business.

Don't Seek to ‘Win’ ArgumentsDon’t Seek to ‘Win’ Arguments

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.

Dennis McCafferty
Dennis McCafferty
Dennis McCafferty is a contributor to CIO Insight. He covers topics such as IT leadership, IT strategy, collaboration, and IT for businesses.

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