Only 44% of IT decision makers say the line levels of IT feel connected to their organization’s strategy and are empowered to execute it, according to TEKsystems.
A strong connection between leadership and line level IT workers is important as the majority of IT leaders believe their IT workers have better insight into team morale (69%), the potential technical pitfalls of initiatives (68%), the skill of individual team members (65%), the current state of operations (61%) and waste/inefficiencies (54%).
Unfortunately, survey results indicate that there is plenty of room for improvement in terms of getting leadership and the line levels to really communicate. For example:
- 82% percent of IT leaders agree that most senior leaders and decision makers would benefit from having more insight into what goes on at the line levels of IT.
- 78% of IT decision makers agree senior leaders would benefit from more direct feedback from their IT employees.
- 72% of IT leaders say bottom up solutions are critical to their success in IT.
- 66% of survey respondents agree IT professionals are more in touch with what ideas, approaches and initiatives will work in practice.
“Many of the challenges businesses experience during IT initiatives can be avoided simply by having a better understanding of what happens in the trenches. When organizations seek insights and ideas from their non-management IT employees, they are able to better comprehend core issues, develop more practical strategies and devise superior methods to execute IT programs,” states TEKsystems Director, Rachel Russell.
“We’ve heard from IT professionals we survey and work with regularly that they greatly desire to have an impact on the business. But they often face several roadblocks that can keep their voice from being heard,” Russell added.
IT organizations have a great opportunity to more concertedly listen to their IT employees’ insights and ideas. Just over half (54%) of IT leaders agree the non-management IT personnel at their organization are comfortable providing constructive criticism and ideas up to leadership. Furthermore, only 52% say their organization effectively listens to and taps into the insights of their IT professionals.
To better plan and execute IT initiatives IT leaders can look to their IT professionals for practical insights into what is likely to work at the ground level. According to the survey, only 30% of IT leaders report most senior leaders and decision makers have a solid grasp about what goes on at the line levels of IT.
“Leaders’ recognition of the importance of engaging with their IT teams is a step in the right direction. Actually putting strategies in place to ensure that happens is sometimes missing. Mid-level managers play a huge role in bridging the gap. It’s critical for senior leaders to engage their managers such that regular updates, feedback and ideas are taken top down and bottom up effectively,” comments Russell. “As IT leaders develop a stronger understanding of the IT professional’s perspective, the greater the impact it will have on the business and how IT gets done.”