Information Technology trends keep changing and growing every year, and with that growth comes a demand for a high skill labor force in the field. However, Belize Electricity Limited’s Information and Communication Systems manager Mr. Austin Castro notes that employers are still facing a challenge to retain high quality IT personnel. It’s difficult to find the quality of employees that are required, and when they are found it’s even harder to retain them from competitors since the demand is high. Additionally, as the European Commission (2016) points out only about thirty percent of the seven million who are currently employed are women which leaves another huge gap in the skill force.
Retaining the available skilled workforce often comes with providing the necessary resources that provide both intrinsic and extrinsic motivational factors. This can best be described by those motivational factors that arise from both internal and external factors (Boundless, n.d). Often time’s employers believe that providing the proper monetary compensation is enough to retain employees, but as professionals in the industry we see beyond this scope. As Mr. Castro pointed out, a lot of organizations expect the IT teams to do more with less; failing to provide the resources that give value added factors to the job position. Because they fail to see the value it adds, especially when forming and creating their IT department which become a part of their human resources they cause employee burnouts. Cook (2015) describes the burnouts as serious dysfunctional ramifications, meaning that eventually the organization suffers substantial losses for both the organization and the individuals themselves. When these conditions start creating prolonged stress environments that cause energy to turn into exhaustion then employees start looking for other more suitable environments that meets their needs. In essence, managers should see far beyond the job that seems as simple as sitting down behind a computer all day. On the contrary, it’s a very in-depth knowledge oriented job that involves around the clock services, and requires creative solutions to the organization issues on a daily basis.
The theme of “Women in IT” has perhaps been overly used in the dialogues between students and presenters when looking at the facts of the disproportion of women in the industry. However, it must be reiterated and restated over and over that this is a factor that heavily affects others. Many of the available positions that need to be filled would be ideal for women in the industry. Without discriminatory or biased basis the simple fact remains that women are sometimes better at some positions. Smith (2015) indicates that statistics show a big difference when comparing job positions for women in the industry from 62 years ago, women are great leaders and excellent at managerial positions. The industry needs them more today than ever, they are highly detailed oriented at breaking down tasks towards working goals and objectives. The high engagement levels by women result into highly engaged, and higher performing teams. Ultimately, we must continue the recruitment of women into the industry to fill in some gaps.
In conclusion, it can be said that organizations need to work at a high level if they expect to keep quality IT personnel. While monetary rewards may be enough for starters in the industry, a lot of experienced professionals are looking for environments that provide both internal and external motivational factors. People need to be motivated and feel valued while also being provided the necessary rewards for their day to day basic needs. The more Information Technology keeps changing the more IT personnel will be need to fill in the job positions that become available, we are seeing new positions such as those in Network Security which did not exist a couple of years ago. As a result, we need to bring in more women into the picture who provide another view in the industry from their male counterparts. Plomp & Reinen (1997) indicate that we need more women as role models to market the industry as a possible career choice for young females who are looking at their future. Correcting the gender imbalances would bring a new quality of IT personnel to the work force.
Boundless. (n.d). Incentive Theory of Motivation and Intrinsic vs Extrinsic Motivation. Retrieved from https://www.boundless.com/psychology/textbooks/boundless-psychology-textbook/motivation-12/theories-of-motivation-65/incentive-theory-of-motivation-and-intrinsic-vs-extrinsic-motivation-252-12787/
Cook, S. (2015). Job Burnout in Information Technology Workers. Retrieved fromhttp://www.ijbhtnet.com/journals/Vol_5_No_3_June_2015/1.pdf
European Commission. (2016). Women in Digital. Retrieved from https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/en/women-ict
Plomp, T., Reinen, I. (1997). Information Technology and Gender Equality. A Contradiction in Terminis. Retrieved from https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/2bc4/46df0dab3854aef36571cc7cd66d42ba127a.pdf
Smith, J. (2015). Study Finds Women are Better Bosses than Men – Here’s Why. Retrieved from http://www.businessinsider.com/why-women-are-better-managers-than-men-2015-4