To succeed in a leadership role requires patience, training and practice. For IT leaders to ensure the survival of their organization and those already making a splash, they should help their IT managers embrace their position for today’s dynamic work environment.
Without a doubt, the roles and responsibilities of IT managers across the enterprise landscape have significantly transformed since 2020. Creating better IT strategies, ensuring a seamless transition to remote and hybrid work environments, continually improving and securing the tech stack have made their roles a lot more challenging. While many IT managers have played a crucial role in securing their organizations’ infrastructure while keeping the business operations, they are still finding it challenging to embrace the management side of their position.
Most of the IT managers are still promoted into management positions depending on their technical skills and managing the tech stacks. However, in the management position, they struggle to provide effective leadership and team productivity, which leads to employees suffering from low morale. With 72% of tech workers admitting they want to quit by the end of 2021, as per TalentLMS and Workable “Retaining tech employees in the era of The Great Resignation” survey, it is high time for CIOs to ensure that they can hold onto the right talent. The best place for them to start considering is by training their IT managers who can ease out the workload and burnout leading towards this resignation wave. Here are three leadership strategies that CIOs can take to help their IT managers to succeed in their leadership position:
Setting clear expectations
To be successful in training their IT managers, CIOs should state what behavioral changes they expect their managers to make. If they fail to communicate desired outcomes, the training programs they will create will not be effective, also leading to the managers not being able to achieve the required performance improvements. Establishing goals from the beginning also enables CIOs to identify the topics they need to prioritize in their training programs.
Deciding the training approach and format
IT leaders should ask their IT managers what approach of training they are seeking. They should clarify whether the managers are comfortable with classroom sessions, online programs, self-study or real-time interactive group sessions. While on-site training pushes managers to complete the curriculum, they find it difficult to apply the information they have learned as they feel overwhelmed by the changes they will need to make to succeed in their role. On the other hand, self-study often results in no study at all as managers put off study due to their constantly evolving deadlines. This resulted in little to no improvement in their overall performance leading to wastage in time and resources. To prevent this, CIOs should follow up with accountability coaching with their managers to ensure they are able to absorb the information and apply them in their leadership position without feeling overwhelmed or burnout.
Implementing a hybrid approach
CIOs should consider opting for a hybrid approach that includes sharing the lessons learned and group coaching. This will be especially helpful to IT managers who want to apply what they have learned but are failing to get the desired results they are expecting. Breaking down the training topics into small, easily digestible chunks makes it easier for CIOs and IT managers to fit them into their tight schedules. These should also be mixed with short presentations of topical content, followed by small-group interactions on applying one or two action elements from the training program.
With the IT landscape continuing to witness upheaval in their overall operations, it is crucial that IT managers are equipped to deal with them swiftly while contributing to the overall vision and success of their organization.