IT employment issues spark debate

* Readers sound off on the IT employment issue

Talk of young IT workers being disillusioned or expecting too much from employers ranks right up there with heated debates over religion and politics. The idea that IT employees shouldn't expect good compensation, excellent benefits and a lot of respect cause many Network World readers to sound off on the issue.

Talk of young IT workers being disillusioned or expecting too much from employers ranks right up there with heated debates over religion and politics. The idea that IT employees shouldn't expect good compensation, excellent benefits and a lot of respect cause many Network World readers to sound off on the issue

Some e-mailed me their thoughts on the attitude of young IT workers, the issues around IT employee retention and why companies need to realize more how valuable IT employees are to an organization's overall success.

In this newsletter, I'll share readers' thoughts on the issue. To start, this reader, a baby boomer in the IT industry, says as a veteran IT professional he understands the desire to be respected as much as compensated for his talents.

"Although I am a boomer, I work with a number of the Millennials you mention in the article, and I don't see them wanting many things different from my wants, but I and many of the boomers that I know don't feel as free to jump as the Millennials do.

Many of us want respect, and salary is only one of the ways to show it. When headcounts are sacked almost every day to compensate for redundancies created by our constant acquisitions and seniority doesn't factor in, there is no sense of job security. There is no flexibility in compensation, there is a strict cap based on three acceptable levels of performance and industry benchmarks. There is no negotiating additional vacation. Comp time is only off of the books and at the discretion and whim of managers. There is no clearly defined criteria for promotion and for technologists the path has an abrupt end for those that don't want to jump "up the food chain" to management. The bright and energetic Millennials that I work with do talk about wanting more salary, but more often they want the chance to grow and perform meaningful work while here and more flexibility to engage in meaningful pursuits when not at work.

It is my opinion that Millennials need leadership, whereas I and many of the other graying boomers long ago learned to accept 'Management by Spreadsheet.' After years of chanting 'more with less', management has stripped the workplace of many of the things that got me to stay with this profession during the early years. I do not blame the Millennials, I empathize with them. Although the executives in the interview correctly identified the people that represent the problem, they need to spend some time with a mirror to get to the source of the problem."

Another scoffs at my use of the word nonsense in a previous newsletter, which implied there was more hype around this issue than warranted.

"Did I read the last sentence correctly? 'Any talk of disillusioned workers is nonsense.' Did you read the comments posted with last weeks article regarding Millennials? From what I read, I would say, in this industry, disillusionment runs rampant and knows no boundaries!"

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