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TEKsystems surveyed nearly 2,400 IT professionals and 1,500 IT leaders about their relationships with each other and what we learned was pretty surprising.

There’s one question IT leaders are always trying to answer: How do I save more time and money on IT initiatives while increasing my ROI? We believe a key method to achieving this goal is to truly and actively listen to your IT team on the “line level” who actually get IT done. In fact, 72 percent of IT leaders say bottom-up solutions are critical to success in IT. 

How about that 71 percent of the IT professionals we surveyed who believe that, compared to leadership, IT workers come up with ideas that are more likely to work in practice? Sixty-six percent of IT leaders actually agree with them.

Let me give you some more facts from our research that shows better listening to the IT employee population is a great opportunity for most IT leaders:

  • Only about half of IT leaders say their organization effectively taps into the insights of their IT workers
  • Only half of IT employees rate their leader’s ability to keep them plugged into the company strategy as excellent or very good—IT leaders actually rated themselves even worse 
  • Eighty-six percent of the IT professionals believe their leadership could benefit from their feedback on companywide initiatives, but only 47 percent report that their leaders are listening
  • Only 56 percent of IT professionals indicate their leaders seek out and/or listen to the team’s ideas

It seems that leaders are aware of the disconnect they have with IT workers but definitely aren’t doing enough to change it. So how can they improve? We recommend companies do a couple of things:

  • Keep their IT teams informed of the company’s business strategy. It will increase their engagement to the company and ensure IT initiatives are being executed with the big picture in mind.
  • Ensure your company fosters communication up and down the corporate ladder—your line-level employees have a view into what’s really going on in the IT department and can identify potential pitfalls and areas for improvement.
  • Lastly, make sure your managers are serving down, not just up. Great managers know the importance of getting their team’s feedback and are approachable when a team member has an idea that could open the door to an opportunity to grow the business or save time and money.

Thank you to all the IT leaders and IT professionals who participated in this valuable research. For more information about how to effectively tap into your line levels, check out our white paper Listen up: Your IT Team Needs to Talk on TEKsystems.com. For questions about the research, please email tekresearch@teksystems.com.