Manage your IT pros, not their caricatures

Tools

The technology professionals who work for you probably don't exhibit all the traits of the stereotypical geek, but that doesn't mean they don't require special management. If they're good, don't expect them to stick around just because the break room is stocked with pizza and Red Bull, writes reports Dan Tynan at InfoWorld.

There are many common misperceptions about managing IT pros, says Eric Schlissel, founder of tech services provider GeekTek IT Services. While they may be a separate class of employee, they won't necessarily be motivated by efforts to cater to the geek stereotype, such as the pizza-in, code-out rule.

It is also a mistake to think that tech pros are incapable of communicating effectively with their fellow humans. In many cases, it makes sense for them to use alternatives to talking, such as IM, email, texting or intranets, all of which are less disruptive to the programming process. Don't confuse focusing with antisocial behavior.

Allow your analytical experts to embrace both their creative side and their own business savvy, and you may start seeing out-of-the-box solutions emerging. In a similar way, allow them the flexibility to work at times they're best suited for, whether it's during standard business hours or the wee hours of the night.

 "Let them work in soft light, let them listen to their music, let them surf the web, let them find their own technical muse," says Richard J. Sherman, author of Supply Chain Transformation: Practical Roadmap to Best Practice Results. "As for time, they cannot have any boundaries. They will work for 72 hours straight when the muse finds them, and they will take 72 hours off when a new release of a computer game comes out. Let them be."

For more:
- see Dan Tynan's article at InfoWorld

Related Articles:
Difficult employees and how to manage them
Turnover is high among young programmers
How to know if you're micro-managing