High-performing IT departments are a critical factor in the success of many companies. In an organization with proprietary systems, each department’s results rest on the IT department’s ability to keep programs functional. Even when in-house systems are not the tech backbone of a company, tech resources are still foundational.

IT employees ensure networks function efficiently to support communication and workflow. They also help secure physical and digital resources, connect everyone to the internet and cloud, and help manage new system implementations. Here are three things that IT managers can do to keep these important staff members performing at the highest levels:

Conduct Reviews and Provide Regular Feedback

IT managers cannot just rely on the annual employee performance review. By then, it is too late for staff to improve enough to get a good review, and it can be a hit to morale for employees to believe they are doing well only to find out much later that leadership did not think so. IT managers should provide regular feedback, letting staffers know when they did well and constructively pointing out where work could be improved. Leaders should also always remember to praise in public and criticize in private.

Reward Success with Incentives

Provide employees with a reason to push for success. It is not enough to offer a yearly increase for some staffers; instead, run small contests that award prizes to those with great ideas or the best efficiencies. Incentives could range from something like a free lunch to larger awards such as time off or a chance to attend a conference. Managers should check with Human Resources and Legal before offering incentives, just to keep everything compliant.

Offer New Opportunities

IT professionals are often even more motivated by new challenges and opportunities. By opening doors for staff members, IT leadership can increase performance today and lay a foundation of success for the future. Staff members who believe hard work positions them for growth, promotions, or pay raises are more likely to do their best.

IT managers can never rely solely on good intentions to ensure high performance among staff. Employees in any department want to feel needed, know when they succeed, and experience rewards. Open communication and an appropriate incentive structure help ensure excellence from IT teams.

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