Meta Study Finds IT Burnout Reaching Critical Level

Nearly three-fourths of IT managers say they are worried about low IT employee morale and are searching for ways to alleviate burnout in a time of economic uncertainty and tight budgets.
Nearly three-fourths of IT managers say they are worried about low IT employee morale and are searching for ways to alleviate burnout in a time of economic uncertainty and tight budgets.

According to a recent study by industry analyst firm Meta Group, 71 percent of IT managers surveyed say employee burnout is a serious issue for them -- an issue that could spell longer-range turnover, lower productivity, and less overall shareholder value.

''Working through this prolonged recession, which has seen budget cuts across the enterprise, numerous staff cutbacks, and general sector uncertainty, has definitely taken its toll on IT employee morale,'' says Maria Schafer, program director of Meta Group's IT Human Capital Management Strategies. ''Until budgets loosen, managers will be implementing internal career-advancement incentives in the form of skill development and retention programs. Proactively addressing these issues is essential to avoid a loss of productivity over the longer term.''

The survey shows that 55 percent of companies polled have begun implementing skill development programs to boost employee morale. And 24 percent have created better overall retention programs. Monetary rewards come in as a viable Plan B, with 11 percent of companies polled raising salaries, 11 percent hiring more staff and 8 percent offering cash incentives to prevent employee burnout.

Meta reports that 5 percent of companies take a pretty drastic step -- they rely on a change of scenery to improve IT employee morale. They pack up and move the company to a whole new location.

Employing less dramatic means, 84 percent of companies do employee surveys to assess employee satisfaction, according to the Meta report. Another 18 percent utilize the employee review process to get feedback and 15 percent rely on suggestion boxes for their lines of communication.






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