Views on leadership, communication and engagement
IT teams have been under a lot of pressure over the past two years, and not just from the need to implement rapid technology change in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Many were thrown into remote working themselves at very short notice and asked to do their jobs in less than ideal conditions. With high levels of disruption, and the associated stress, IT leaders had to proactively manage the motivation, health and wellbeing of their people more than ever before. It was a tough time for many, but have valuable lessons been learned that can be applied over the longer term?
The pandemic turned the spotlight on people as individuals
A recent survey of IT leaders confirmed the ‘silver lining’ of an otherwise unwelcome experience. Over the course of the recent healthcare crisis, CIOs generally felt they got closer to the people who work for them, creating greater understanding and empathy, and strengthening relationships.
The increased focus on people remains valuable as change continues
As CIOs transition from crisis mode and look to the future, most see a need to transform the way their teams operate so they are better equipped to support the business going forward into a world of uncertainty. As part of this, the professional development of IT staff is firmly on the agenda.
The need for CIOs to develop their own skills is highlighted as key
When it comes to their own professional development, CIOs particularly highlight the need forenhanced skills in areas such as leadership, motivation, persuasion, negotiation and general relationship management. The amount of time CIOs allocate to self-development is on average about half of what they’d ideally like. Closing this gap is both a personal and business imperative.
The post-pandemic CIO role will be more people-centric than ever
Pretty much everyone appreciates the increased level of understanding, empathy and mutual support they have experienced over the past two years, and see a benefit in this continuing. Maintaining a focus on morale, motivation and wellbeing is not just good for the employee, it also leads to business benefits in areas such as productivity, creativity and staff-retention. The CIO has a key role to play in driving this, both within the IT organisation and across the business as a whole.
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Dale is a co-founder of Freeform Dynamics, and today runs the company. As part of this, he oversees the organisation’s industry coverage and research agenda, which tracks technology trends and developments, along with IT-related buying behaviour among mainstream enterprises, SMBs and public sector organisations.