Mention the issue of morale on TechRepublic, and members are
quick to chime in and share insight on how some IT leaders and organizations
have worked to combat low morale and its negative impact on staff esteem and
productivity.

A
discussion
about a new report on morale
dropping to an all-time low in the IT field provoked responses from dozens of
TechRepublic members. While many cited layoffs, outsourcing, and job scarcity
as a primary cause of poor morale, just as many noted that burnout and an
overall lack of recognition and respect from both upper management and users
can easily foster declining morale.

“In our office, when everything is working fine, no one
says ‘hey great job, glad to see you guys are keeping our network,
workstations, phones, servers running,'” wrote Alias_IT, adding
that “the only time we ever hear from someone is when something goes down…it is
very frustrating to keep a multimillion dollar company running 24×7 and receive
no credit.”

For TechinCA, morale is a “mind game,” and when
reaching a low point, IT professionals need to ask themselves “‘what am I
doing here then.’ It’s like anything else in life, if you come across positive
and confident your users will notice and even though they don’t say it, they do
appreciate you.”

Yet many other members don’t agree that taking a positive
approach is all that’s needed to keep morale on a better level. “I feel IT
staff should be complimented or incentivised as much as the sale staff…give
credit where credit is due and you will see your pressurized IT guys smile for
once,” wrote paperclip.

Several members also suggested that to gain appreciation, IT
staffers need to take steps to make it happen. Rensaun’s advice is “simply to pull together as a team and not to
concentrate on what’s going on that you don’t like unless you are actively
doing something to change it.”

Spread the good word

One way for IT to gain recognition and make both users and
management understand the department’s value is to share information on what the
IT department contributes to the business effort. One good approach is
publishing a monthly newsletter detailing both IT’s accomplishments and
offering some extra value to users.

To help IT leaders and staff get this kind of morale-boosting
effort up and running quickly, since time is always a critical issue,
TechRepublic has developed an IT Newsletter Template Kit. This downloadable tool, priced
at $14.95, offers six newsletter issues—with artfully designed templates
featuring customizable sections as well as boasting hearty, useful end-user
tips.

Each of the six two-page templates provides room for an IT department to
include information on what’s new that month, such as staff changes, upcoming networking downtime, and end-user training seminars. There’s a spot
for placing department contact information and detailing the department’s
mission statement; a user poll area; and even a profile section where IT
staffers can be “promoted” with a bio and photo.

TechRepublic also provides good suggestions on other data
points that IT managers might want to include in their monthly note to users,
such as links to IT policies and an IT FAQ to help answer those repetitive and
common user questions. Each template issue comes fully loaded with individual
Microsoft Office user tips and a PC security tip. These tips are aimed at
helping users tighten security on their PC as well as increase their knowledge
of Office applications. The newsletter templates also offer a Geek Trivia tip
from the files of TechRepublic’s Trivia Geek—fun facts on a wide range of
topics that users will enjoy.

By providing information to the corporate user base about
the IT department’s accomplishments for the month, and giving important user
tips on a variety of programs, an IT manager can reap several rewards from
publishing a monthly newsletter—all of which can help boost morale.

It’s clearly an excellent way to show the IT team’s value—a
vital requirement according to JayMiller25. “Not appreciated? Well
instead of sitting at your desk and avoiding everyone, why don’t you get out
there and show the executive team the value you’ve added to their
organization?” he wrote to colleagues.

Grab the IT Newsletter Template Kit today and start spreading the
good news about your IT team.