Motivation in IT: How can it transform your business?


In the last decade, the IT industry has become more and more different from other fields. Consistently high demand and higher paychecks for tech employees resulted in what some might call "privileged" conditions they are offered. When it comes to engaging the tech workforce, different motivational approaches are used. Mainly, this happens due to distinct priorities: for most employees, the main incentive is financial gain. However, this is commonly not the case for tech professionals, whose services are valued way above average income.

In this article, we will dive into the reasons behind the aberration of IT professionals and discuss some effective motivational practices that can yield the best results. We will also analyze the unified theory of motivation, propose an equality approach, and discuss how it can benefit your business.
Why are IT employees different?

In the past several years, the digital transformation trend has become so extensive that nearly every business model is heavily influenced by technology. From banking to healthcare, the prominent trend of providing efficient remote services tailored to users' needs has developed. More and more companies focus on innovative, unique approaches that can aid them in standing out among their competitors and building customer loyalty. Regardless of the company's size and industry, the Wall Street Journal's famous quote, "Every company is now a tech company," cannot be more crucial. Thus, the demand for skilled tech workers is justifiable.

  • To understand how these conditions affect the employees, we need to understand what goes into being an IT specialist in the modern world. In addition to long hours of monotonous and highly detailed work, workers must keep up with constantly developing tech innovations and be flexible, attentive, and diligent to stay in the loop. Their work also requires highly developed creative and analytical thinking.
All things considered, burnout and a high turnover rate are the two major disruptive tendencies that are exceptionally frequent among IT specialists.
Statistics show that over 60% of tech students and workers are currently suffering from burnout.
The industry is reported to have a turnover rate of 13.2%, the highest among other business sectors.
Motivational Approaches
These statistics are not surprising to many successful businesses. When it comes to IT, there is no room for underestimating the value of a skilled, consistent tech team dedicated to the improvement and development of your company. However, retaining and motivating them is no easy task. In this section, we want to shed some light on the most effective and creative approaches to motivating tech employees, discuss their benefits, and suggest several ways to implement them into your work process.
Investment in emotional intelligence
It is a common practice for companies to fixate on their employees' knowledge, experience, and IQ, while their emotional intelligence is often left underestimated. We at Gitmax believe that when it comes to self-awareness, empathy, and social skills, especially in tech, the proper emphasis can substantially help professionals boost their performance and encourage personal and professional growth by reducing the risks of stagnation. The development of emotional intelligence will help establish better communication and collaboration, promote understanding, patience, and empathy among your employees. Another excellent benefit is the opportunity to develop a better understanding of the client's needs and the ability to articulate clearly the minutiae of the working process. But like any other skill, emotional intelligence takes work to foster. It requires time and effort, as well as the ability to receive and analyze feedback, to understand what motivates and encourages professionals working for you. The numerous advantages, however, make it a worthwhile investment that must be thoroughly considered.
The distinction between leadership and management
It is crucial to differentiate between managers and leaders. While managers are responsible for organizational issues, the execution of tasks and duties, and meeting deadlines, the leaders must inspire and motivate professionals through innovation, development, and contributions. Even though some managers are promoted to leadership positions, not all of them are cut out to be leaders. A lack of leadership skills can lead to demotivation, and perpetual micromanagement can increase employee burnout. True leaders can inspire, establish a bigger purpose, and provide direction, which in turn can transform the working process and increase productivity, efficiency, and satisfaction from achieving set goals.
Recognition and value of feedback
All employees respond well to having their achievements recognized. It promotes confidence, creativity, and productivity. Data shows that more than 12% of employees value recognition as their top priority in the workplace. In comparison, almost 80% of people who quit their jobs identify a "lack of appreciation" as the main reason for their decision. Providing positive public feedback can greatly motivate professionals and encourage their further development. In addition to verbal approval, leaders can implement an incentive program to improve the results. The incentives don't have to be financial; some businesses allow their employees to choose their own rewards.

Growth and learning opportunities.
Lack of career advancement and professional growth is another major reason for employees to keep looking for better jobs. The reality is that stagnation is one of the leading causes of burnout, and a lack of opportunities for improvement can only increase the probability of employee turnover. At Gitmax, we understand how investing in your employee's success and career advancement can not only keep them engaged and involved but also promote loyalty, increase autonomy, and encourage communication and collaboration between professionals while passing on their knowledge and experience to one another. Lastly, well-established learning programs can attract young and ambitious workers, help your business stay flexible, and keep up with innovation.
Flexible working conditions
When it comes to the best working conditions, everyone is different. Some people do their best work when they are in the office; some prefer to work from the comfort of their homes. Employees who have more freedom when it comes to choosing their work environment are more autonomous, self-aware, and responsible. It can also help them maintain a better work-life balance, thus keeping them satisfied and motivated. However, there is a risk of feeling isolated and disconnected from their coworkers. The lack of human contact with their peers can be mitigated by arranging various social activities and meetings where remote employees can interact and reconnect with others.
Other perks and incentives
Last but not least, it is crucial to keep approaching your employees as individuals and getting feedback on what drives and motivates them. Some might need more flexible working hours, and some might be incentivized by extra vacation days. Remember that sometimes the little things can make the most significant differences.
The unified theory of motivation
As you can see, there are many approaches to motivating employees. It can be challenging to decide which will yield the best results for your team. Most approaches can be categorized as either intrinsic in their nature or extrinsic.
Intrinsic motivation
Intrinsic motivation encompasses all motivational forces that are focused on internal benefits. People who are intrinsically motivated take action or set out to accomplish a goal because it is inherently pleasant or rewarding. The path to completion of the objective itself, rather than the reward at the end, is typically the motivating reason. The best examples of intrinsic motivation are the urge to master and learn skills, a sense of a bigger purpose, as well as autonomy and freedom of self-regulation.
Extrinsic motivation
On the other hand, extrinsic motivation relies on external influences such as raises, promotions, or praise to incentivize you to accomplish a goal or engage in a job or habit. Examples of extrinsic motivation include the ability to have an impact on someone or something, improvements in professional standing, and the acquisition of resources.
The unified theory of motivation speaks to the balance between the two approaches to maximize the results. Typically, it is better to focus on your employees' intrinsic motivation, as it ensures that the drive and encouragement will come from within. However, disregarding the extrinsic factors completely and relying only on the internal drive cannot always be reliable.
Equality in motivation

Even though in this article we have said a lot about motivating tech professionals, we believe that leaders need to consider providing equal opportunities to all employees, no matter which department they affiliate with, but instead based on their merit and contribution. In other words, we believe that organizations should encourage a focus on "the people" rather than "the results" in their incentives, culture, narrative, and leader selection and development. At Gitmax, we believe it is crucial to find a balance between emphasizing knowledge, skills, experience, and such components as self-awareness, motivation, and social skills. This human-centered approach can not only drastically boost morale and improve the work quality of employees but also increase loyalty and significantly lower turnover rates. It can also encourage workers to be more proactive and creative.

Motivation is a complex subject that cannot be taken for granted, especially when it comes to the retention of your IT professionals.

The approaches discussed in this article introduce practices such as emotional intelligence, perpetual learning, feedback analysis, inspiring leadership, and others, all of which can transform your work process, boost productivity and employee satisfaction. It is crucial to keep in mind that a balance of intrinsic and extrinsic factors is the key to proper motivation. Despite being targeted at tech employees, we propose that these findings can be universally applicable to all skilled professionals. If you want to find out more about how the Gitmax team can help you attract skilled professionals and introduce motivational practices to your existing team, feel free to reach out to us and book a consultation today.

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