It’s also resulting in a lot more work for beleaguered IT staff. “Large companies aren’t hiring people as quickly as they were. If people leave or retire, they’re not backfilling those positions. IT people are now being asked to do more, but with less resources,” said Levoy.
This can suck away at morale, she said, which is a problem both in the short- and long-term. Frustrated employers can take out their stress on their employees during a down economy, which leads to irritation and misery.
And, once the economy picks up again, employers will be even worse off — once the hiring market improves, those slighted employees will be off for companies who treat them better, Levoy said.
That is why it is important to show employees that you care. As corny as it sounds, it will keep the business running smoother and maintain staff levels.
“As workloads go up, recognition and celebration is actually dropping. People think you shouldn’t give the ‘wrong impression’ if times are tough,” Spinks said.
In fact, just the opposite is true. She suggests that IT managers make a special effort to recognize employees who are making an effort to help the company’s bottom line. This will show everyone that the company sees how people are pitching in, and appreciates it. And the best part? A congratulatory e-mail or having lunch together at the end of a stressful project “doesn’t cost the company any cash,” Spinks said.
Listening to your employees and co-workers is also important.
“You need to stop and listen on a regular basis,” said Spinks. “Most of the time, you might not even be able to do anything about it. But the recognition that you care? That’s huge.”