The Dead Sea Effect in IT

Discussion in 'Business & Enterprise Computing' started by IACSecurity, Jun 3, 2010.

  1. IACSecurity

    IACSecurity Member

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    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2011
  2. ir0nhide

    ir0nhide Member

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    Yes I've seen it; especially with skilled people who just 'give up' and are tread water maintaining old customised systems because no one else can and management is happy to maintain the status quo.
     
  3. itsmydamnation

    itsmydamnation Member

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    in my opinion you have to do multipule things at once.

    real trackable performance management with with good rewards, dont be afraid to let someone go.

    the CIO has to drive the enviroment forward(whatever direction that is), if the CIO is happy with the status qou nothing will change.

    pay well

    basiclly you need to attract driven people, you attract them by given them positions and responsibilties where they can drive.

    real recognision for staff efforts, not just with the IT area but the orginisation, if IT staff feel that the rest of the business values them they are likely to provide better value to the business (ie give a damn).
     
  4. siooma

    siooma New Member

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    Seen it happen for sure, even seen people's responsibilities taken away and the employee effectively demoted - yet they don't leave and just take it from management. As the article says, they are grateful to have a job, don't have the skill set or abilities to go elsewhere so they stay.
     
  5. syx

    syx Member

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    Totally agree on all points. I see it fairly regularly where I work.
     
  6. GiantGuineaPig

    GiantGuineaPig Member

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    I really only see this happen in businesses which aren't keeping their staff happy for numerous reasons. If you provide good pay and a good environment, you get better longer lasting staff.

    Highly smart people like constant GOOD challenges and new information/training - so really keep their mind ticking over with new stuff to learn and they'll be happy too :)
     
  7. phreeky82

    phreeky82 Member

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    This is a problem of not just IT, not just employment, but many areas. It's what happens when people attempt to address the result of a problem (people leaving) rather than the cause (insufficient resourcing, etc).

    Rewards, pay increases, bonuses, all the other bull shit as an attempt to get someone to stay is not addressing the cause (normally).

    I work at a largish org in a shit role. I have no technical challenges. IT management seem to not care about IT staff on the fringes (like myself) and only the core team, which has a lot of people with insufficient technical ability (not all of them, it must be said).

    For me at present:
    * Utilise your staff properly.
    * Do not give staff useless challenges/projects just to keep them occupied, they know it will never be used and therefore see it as a wasted effort.
    * Give them resources. Yes, as IT staff I do expect more than a single 20" monitor when the non-IT staff get better than that you idiots. And a few appropriate spare cables would be nice.
    * Being the meat in an inter-department sh*tfight sandwich is not pleasant.
    * Stop outsourcing services to try and outsource blame.
    * 18 months in a large org and ZERO training, that's terrible.
     
  8. Joehax

    Joehax Member

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    Am I the only one who things that article is being melodramatic?

    It's saying that management bring in shitty people who then cause the good people to leave. I'm sure if those shitty people can get into one company they can get into another.

    I've had the displeasure of working with a few people who aren't very good at their job but believe themselves to be God's gift to IT. They constantly criticize their coworkers and management. I've also seen plenty of top notch people struggle to find good jobs because they might not interview well or have the right level of confidence.

    I'd wager that 90% of people work with somebody they feel isn't up to scratch in one way or another, but only in very extreme circumstances will be the direct result of somebody looking for a job elsewhere.

    Personally, the article reads like sour grapes. Somebody didn't agree with the way somebody else worked, made a fuss to management without a favorable outcome and then decided to leave.
     
  9. Embercide

    Embercide Member

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    With the more experienced staff moving on and leaving behind the less experienced to become the 'maintanence experts' would this not work to (gradually) increase the skills of those left behind, since they're now in a position of sink-or-swim?
     
  10. lavi

    lavi Member

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    imho if you're good enough in the "it environment" you will not be stupid enough to hang around a company that don't see the value they have, most of the time it's not money but it's the environment

    i like to be pushed to the extreeme in the 8 hours i work and i tend to love the pressure, i like the buzz and brings the best in me, coleagues usually hate that and quickly oursource everything they can so the responsiblity disspaears, in the end they become a conduit between the IT environemnt and a 3rd party where the conduit takes none of the blame and they keep on switching providers until they get what they want and don't look at the value, as initially the 3rd party looked good value for money by the time they find someone who is really good enough they blow the budget out but that's because they passed the point of no return. The funny thing is once they find the company that looks after their needs the same thing happens in that company, it's usually 2-3 people there that make the difference and when those people leave ... you get the point :)

    my idea is simple, find the right people and pay them right and they might not only stay with you but they just might like it
     
  11. DeVo

    DeVo Member

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    Very interesting, great post - Thanks!
     
  12. fredhoon

    fredhoon Member

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    The effect described in the OP is true for any technically orientated industry, at least i have seen the same over the years in my industry. The most talented people leave or retire and all that is left is the dead wood. Those with any real knowledge or ability end up starting their own business or working for consultants and contract their services back in one way or another, at a much higher rate of course.
     
  13. bcann

    bcann Member

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    I tend to have seen this more in outsourced IT services companies where contractual obligations to have "a bum on a seat" for the client or pay a penalty forces quick hires.

    having said that i've seen entirely onsite/internal IT support lack any real skills too.

    The secondary problem is that HR interviews for IT positions with slim to no knowledge of the job/skills itself.
     
  14. Nitephyre

    Nitephyre Member

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    Welcome to Government jobs :)
     
  15. Disco_Stu

    Disco_Stu Member

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    You will find this problem is not limited to IT. All industries have it.

    The only time/place it is avoided is when the environment is fast paced and difficult on a daily basis, then you can very easily pick out the poor performers.

    I find no problem in keeping good staff on board. You just build the right role that suits them, and they'll stay for years and provide excellent work.

    Finding good ones is the hard part...
     
  16. caspian

    caspian Member

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    I have seen this time and time again, and the root cause IMO is management insistence on maintaining a transient "flexible" workforce.

    bollocks.

    management looooove using short term contractors, agency staff, temps etc because it gives them "flexibility" which is a euphamism for "we can't plan our staff levels, intake, training and workload properly". they then dangle the carrot of long-term permanent positions at some unspecified later time - which invariably turns out to be much later than anyone expected, and well past most people's patience levels.

    the inevitable effect is that the more capable staff leave for other jobs either internally or externally, leaving the dregs behind.

    management then maximise the downside of this pattern by deciding to offer full time positions after the better staff have departed, with the result the full time positions are filled with the best of the worst staff available.
     
  17. Iceman

    Iceman Member

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    Agreed and from my understanding - your organisation especially is one of the leaders of this particular tactic. Even going to the extent of not directly contracting people with the parent company but contracting another company to contract employees (skilled, kelly) et al and using positions with the parent company as the carrots. ;)

    To the original topic. I agree it's a big problem and not only in IT. (as an employee) I believe the only solution is to provide employees with incentives that benefit both the company and the employee such as training in their field (as opposed to bonuses and pay rises which only benefit the employee), mentoring from people higher up in their carrier and the opportunity to provide leadership to others, either in a team or as a mentor to others.

    People will always leave when they feel they can't get what they want any more but you set up a culture of training and improvement that ultimately benefits your organisation because you have a huge pool of talent to draw from.

    So either; spend more on salary trying to attract the talent, spend more on improving and retaining existing talent or spend more on overall because you just keep throwing more and more newbies through the grinder to 'get through the day' while providing such a mediocre service to your customer that they're not *quite* annoyed enough to leave.

    For some reason most companies tend to pick 3. Perhaps because it has little obvious upfront cost.
     
  18. Nitephyre

    Nitephyre Member

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    Yes, but I meant the general problem is endemic to Government :)
     
  19. sharkmutiny

    sharkmutiny Member

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    LOL... I have this right now... fellow calls himself a SQL DB administrator, works in Marketing (wtf!?!), insists on only looking after our main database (therefore marketing related!), takes no responsibility/ownership for the database he crashes regualarly, has been there 7 years, is entrenched.. is studying to become an civil engineer (nothing related to his supposed work as DB Admin!)...my god i would love to get rid of him and get a proper db admin in his place... is easier to butt my head against a brick wall though! :rolleyes:
     
  20. Simwah

    Simwah Member

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    Change his role description
     

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