You have it all when it comes to attracting top IT talent: An inclusive company culture, comprehensive benefits, maybe even a ping-pong table in the break room. But how does your company’s management stack up when it comes to their expectations? Here’s what it takes to make a great boss in the eyes of the most talented IT professionals in the industry.

  1. Honesty
    The most competitive tech candidates demand a level of transparency that many managers aren’t used to. Whether you’re discussing compensation or performance reviews, they want a boss who’s willing to be straightforward with the truth. Don’t dodge questions or lie by omission; rather, be as honest and direct as you possibly can, even if you aren’t at liberty to give away any specifics.
  1. Recognition
    If you’re going to keep your talented IT employees around, you need to establish a pattern of recognition and incentives for positive performance. A great boss has a system for tracking these performance metrics and finding new and creative ways of rewarding productivity. Consistency, impartiality, and genuine thoughtfulness are the true markers of a valuable recognition program.Incentives don’t have to break the bank; you can find inexpensive (or even free) ways to reward your team, whether it’s with a company lunch outing or personalized corporate swag. No matter what, try to be creative and original in your motivation efforts.
  1. Work Ethic
    Your team wants to know that you work as hard as they do. Be an active leader by taking a central role in meetings and brainstorming sessions. They’ll see that you’re engaged in the company’s mission and dedicated to the work you do, and this will motivate them to adopt the same behavior. Let them know that you’re always available for guidance via phone, email, or in-person meetings.
  1. Flexibility
    Talented employees crave a flexible work environment, and that flexibility comes from the top down. Recognize that your employees have personal lives, families, and the demands that come with these responsibilities. Guilt, embarrassment, or fear of consequences are tremendous de-motivators for any staff, so always strive to be understanding and open to life’s inconveniences. Your employees will work harder and respect you as a leader as a result.
  1. Attentiveness
    We all want to feel listened to, both in personal and professional settings. So when your employees are speaking to you, be sure to give them your undivided attention. Don’t be distracted by your phone or your email; rather, put down your devices and focus on what they’re saying to you. Have meaningful discussions, accept feedback, and welcome good ideas from your most talented employees. This will make you more approachable as a boss, and allow your employees to feel valued and respected in the workplace.

A lot goes into what makes a great boss, but these five traits are a good starting point for any IT manager. By honing your professional image to match these engaging characteristics, you can attract top IT talent and retain your most valuable employees, as well.

If you need help becoming a great boss to your IT workforce, or if you need help building a top-notch tech team, click here to contact the staffing experts at Strategic IT Staffing today!


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