As an IT manager, one of your key responsibilities is to
develop your staff. This requires you to assess your employees, offer them
feedback, find methods for developing or introducing new skills, and implement
ways to reward good performance. Since so much is required of IT pros these
days, this is not an easy task.


You need to keep on hand an effective means by which to
assess and measure employee performance, such as TechRepublic’s
evaluation form. This form provides a framework for developing an evaluation system. It’s built on an assessment of five categories of performance: communication, interaction, productivity, quality concerns, and job knowledge and skill.


Once you assess an employee’s performance, you must offer
him or her feedback. By communicating what you and others see in the employee,
you can provide both positive and negative reinforcement. As stated in the TechRepublic article, “Coach your tech
staff by providing meaningful feedback,”
employees must find the
feedback acceptable so that they will try to integrate it into their daily
routine. In order to create an accurate reflection—and one that the employee
will have faith in—your feedback must be timely, specific, purposeful,
credible, and behavior-based.

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Training and development

Building a great team starts with assessing the skills your
employees have now
and determining the skills they will need later. Then, you need to identify training that addresses the needs of the organization. You should
develop a list of skill gaps in your team that you want to fill and critical
support position skills that you want to enhance or add depth to within your
team. Next, you should incorporate the organizational needs into
an individual development plan that consists of two to four areas of focus for the year. The
amount of yearly training will depend upon the needs of the organization, the
current capabilities of the employee, and your available training funds.

Rewarding performance

IT organizations often struggle to retain and motivate their
employees. One factor is that management can fall into the trap of throwing
money at valued employees instead of getting to the real root of what motivates

It’s important to know the difference between motivating and
manipulation. Good managers who value motivation work hard at helping people
find positive reasons for doing their best. Manipulators resort to punitive
measures that may seem to work at first but will quickly drive talented people
out the door. Get expert tips in the article, “Craft a motivational plan
that will help you, your employees, and your company.”

For a comprehensive list of employee performance management
resources, see page two.


  • Template
    for identifying employee performance

    Using this template, one IT executive identified
    a core group of employees as top performers and then recruited them for a
    pilot program. This group then helped guide company policy and raised the
    bar for other employees.
  • Performance
    review template: Peer feedback

    When it’s time to conduct an employee’s annual
    performance review, his or her peers can be an excellent source of
    information and insight. This template includes a cover letter explaining
    the process and a survey designed to elicit useful, targeted peer
  • Training/tuition reimbursement kit
    This kit can serve as a framework to define and formalize your organization’s approach to employee training. It consists of a policy that outlines expectations and guidelines for the program.
  • Training
    assessment templates

    Training new employees and assessing the effects of training is an
    involved process. These templates can help busy managers keep training
    efforts on track and organized.
  • Motivation
    tactics for those who lead techies

    In this chapter from his book, Leading Geeks, Paul Glen warns that
    traditional methods of motivating staff won’t work with knowledge workers.
    Check out his suggestions for what will work.
  • TechRepublic’s Morale Boosters Hall of Fame
    TechRepublic’s Morale Boosters Hall of Fame
    provides true tales of managers who’ve succeeded in boosting employee
    morale through simple actions, policies, and perks. Use these ideas to
    improve morale in your office.
  • Use
    these documents to build a morale-boosting sabbatical program

    Sabbaticals can promote professional development and company performance
    by revitalizing weary staffers. This sample sabbatical policy and
    application will help you take the first steps toward establishing this
    valuable career program.


  • Set annual
    review goals that aren’t project related

    When doing annual reviews for your staff, stay
    away from making individual goals project related. Here’s how to align
    goals with individuals.
  • Guide staff
    behavior by setting a good example

    Make all the rules and recommendations you want, but don’t lose sight of
    the fact that your team is led more by your actions than your words. Here
    are some strategies for shaping your team’s attitudes and habits through
    your own behavior.
  • Go the extra
    mile before writing off an employee

    A member has just been promoted to director of IS and finds that an
    employee seems unqualified to work in IS/IT. Find out what steps this
    member should take in order to give the seemingly unqualified employee a chance
    for an IS redemption.
  • Focus your
    staff behavior to position your department as a strategic business partner

    If you want to position your IT department as a
    true strategic partner to business goals, you have to first address the
    collective behavior of your staff and make changes where needed to align
    with the rest of the business.
  • Use
    one-on-one sessions to guide your team

    How much time do you spend talking to team
    members about their performance? Probably not enough, unless you’ve got a
    schedule and plan in place. Ken Hardin offers these tips on helping
    employees and projects succeed.
  • IT
    Discipline Mentoring program: Increase staff motivation and productivity

    IT has been lean for years and now staff is burning out from consistently
    working 12+ hour days and weekends. IT executives have taken some steps to
    stem the tide such as developing best practices and buying the latest
    technology, but this hasn’t had much effect. Read about an idea that may
    be the best way to keep your staff working productively and happily.
  • These
    motivation methods counter retention and morale issues

    From doling out t-shirts to organizing development and career planning
    programs, companies strive to keep their employees motivated. Here are
    some tips for keeping your staff happy and productive—and under your
  • Retention
    measures trigger new organizational vigor

    To reduce employee turnover, one company launched
    an experimental program. After careful planning and execution, it put the
    power to change the culture into key employees’ hands and revolutionized
    company dynamics.
  • Members
    describe bonus plans that actually work

    Although bonus plans are not as common or as
    generous as they were during the boom years, consulting firms still use
    them to reward and retain valuable workers. Here are a few real-life
    examples of effective bonus plans.
  • Members
    suggest alternatives to traditional raises

    It’s no surprise that many companies are finding
    it difficult to offer raises in this economy. Until the economic IT
    meltdown is over, these suggestions from members on compensation
    alternatives might just fill the company bill—and your employees’ needs.

White papers

  • Giving
    and Receiving Feedback Well

    When the thought of having to give or receive
    feedback arises, most people assume that the experience will be a negative
    and uncomfortable one. This isn’t necessarily the case; in fact, it’s good
    practice to highlight positive achievements or traits in any type of
    feedback situation. This paper from Business, The Ultimate Resource,
    explains how to deliver and receive feedback well.
  • Improve
    Your Training: Reduce Training Time and Boost Customer Satisfaction

    Read this case study sponsored by Citrix Online
    to discover how KaulkinGinsberg,
    a leading provider of merger and acquisition services, uses online
    collaboration to: reduce training and travel costs, close the
    communication gap between trainers and students, focus on the content
    instead of how to use the training tool, and realize instantaneous ROI.

Read the entire Personnel Management series