What's Making IT Staff So Sad?

IT workers are generally showing a lack of enthusiasm for their jobs, reflecting an overall workforce trend, according to a recent study, but how come and how bad is it?

The recession caused plenty of disruption in the overall U.S. workforce and the IT ranks were not an exception. According to a new survey by the Corporate Executive Board, the percentage of IT employees making "high discretionary effort" plummeted in the first half of 2009 to 4.6 percent, part of a longer-term downward spiral affecting the entire workforce, not just IT.

In its most recent findings, IT fared worse than average, experiencing declines in discretionary effort starting with 10.5 percent in the second half of 2007, dropping to 7.4 percent in the first half of 2008 and actually bumping back up to 8.2 percent in the second half of that year. In the first half of 2009, the percentage dipped to 6.5.

CEB, a non-profit, Washington-based advisory firm, defines discretionary effort as employee's willingness to go "above and beyond" their basic job responsibilities by helping others with heavy workloads, volunteering for additional duties, and looking for ways to perform their job more effectively. The firm surveys about 150,000 workers each quarter with a series of behavioral questions about their jobs. Of those surveyed, CEB, which counts many Fortune 500 firms among its clients, said about 10,000 work in IT.

IT Anxiety, Distrust to Blame

Jaime Capella, a managing director in CEB's information technology group, said he thinks there are several reasons for the drop in discretionary effort among IT workers. He also notes the drop in IT is consistent and is showing no signs of significant recovery in early findings for the second half of 2009, the report on which is due out next month.

Read the full story at CIO Update:
IT Employees Less Happy, Working Less Hard


productivity, recession, careers, confidence, staffing