Morale boosters: 5 proven ways to motivate your IT team

CIOs share their best advice for keeping disengagement at bay

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When Curt Pederson joined the University of Portland as CIO in 2013, he inherited an IT team overcome with grief after their former CIO unexpectedly passed away.

“Morale was low and turnover was fairly high after the tragedy, and I knew it would be a challenge to get them happy and feeling good about work again,” he says.

[ Also on ITworld: Is your IT team stuck at dysfunction junction? ]

But it’s not just tragedy that can disengage employees: workplace gossip, poor communication, ungrateful leaders and even the summer doldrums can breed unmotivated workers, too — a problem that’s far more prevalent than you might think.

According to a Gallup poll, less than one-third (31.5 percent) of U.S. workers are involved in, enthusiastic about and committed to their work and workplace. Engagement is highest among managers at 38 percent, and lowest among Millennials at 29 percent.

Dean Riviera, CIO at interior design company The Robert Allen Group, says the telltale signs are easy to spot. Team members might complain openly and more often about users and client requests; they miss milestones, delivery dates and expectations; and might start requesting additional time off.

When that happens, it’s time to take action. Here what seasoned IT pros say you can do to get your team back on track.

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