Managing the Rising Pressure on Your IT Team


IT teams are under increasing pressure on the job. Robert Half Technology recently surveyed Canadian chief information officers (CIOs) about technology salaries in today’s demanding IT environment.

While the majority of CIOs feel salaries are fair based on current market conditions, it’s clear that IT roles are becoming much more stressful. In fact, 91 per cent of respondents indicated that pressure on IT professionals has increased from five years ago. 

It’s an exciting time to be in IT, but the pressure to innovate and implement technology solutions is at an all-time high. Technology initiatives such as big data, cloud computing, mobile and cybersecurity come with tremendous expectations to deliver a return on investment for organizations, creating a demand for IT teams to work faster, smarter and more efficiently to meet the demands of the business.

(Download our Salary Guide to help determine starting pay for IT team members.)

For managers, there are ways you can help manage these stress levels more effectively. Here are five tips:

  1. Frequent check-ins. As projects and demand to deliver grow, it’s important for managers to have regular check-ins with team members to ensure they’re able to manage their workloads without feeling overwhelmed. Help employees with time management or prioritization advice. Additionally, review tasks that they’re focused on and look for responsibilities that can be delegated to others.
  2. Provide support. Reassure IT team members that they have your support and that you know the demands of their role. Look for resources you can provide to reduce stress levels associated with projects. These could include adding project professionals or consultants to augment your full-time staff, enabling them to meet project deadlines and avoid burnout.
  3. Acknowledge successes and show appreciation. Take time along the way to acknowledge the good work of your IT team members on pressure-packed projects. A simple thank you or acknowledgement of their efforts can go a long way toward making the work worth it.
  4. Ensure you’re not a contributor to stress. As managers, we have to ensure projects are proceeding on time and on budget. However, it’s a good idea to look at the project load to make sure you’re not creating unrealistic expectations – and unnecessary stress levels – for your IT team. 
  5. Be proactive in assessing pay and benefits. A certain level of stress and pressure is expected in most jobs, however if that stress and pressure is accompanied by a sense of being underpaid, it can lead to unnecessary turnover on your team. Review industry trends on compensation and benefits to ensure that your total compensation package is competitive.

It’s been a strong IT employment market over the last few years, with low unemployment levels and continued increases in salary levels. But even in a positive climate, the intensity to meet demands can lead to high levels of stress in the workplace. Consider the tips above to create a more balanced environment for your IT team.