Three Keys to Managing Technical Professionals

What motivates your IT staff may be different than what motivates your marketing employees. Managing technical professionals is a booming area for specialty training precisely because technical staff are not always like ordinary line workers. Folks that communicate great with machines don’t always communicate great with humans. So learning how to work those pros and minimize those cons can be a challenge for managers.

Even the most talented managers can use some tips on managing a team of technical professionals. Jim Rapoza, eWEEK’s Chief Technology Analyst, said this about managing IT staff: “If you think that managing a technology worker is just like managing anyone else, then you’ve obviously never done it.”

Whether you have a technical background or not, you’ll need to apply these three tenets:


A good leader sees how to draw from an employee’s unique strengths. Keep in mind that many technology mavericks are willing to work around the clock to solve problems. Most line managers have dealt with the slacker employee who does the absolute minimum to get by, takes maximum sick days, always arrives right on time but never stays a second late. Take advantage of your technical staff who may thrill at the opportunity to dive into a project, get fully invested and bring ideas to the table. Hey, they’ll even stay late if necessary to get it right.


You must build a foundation of trust with your technical team. One way to show that is to help other employees respect their communication limits – because they come in exchange for high quality work product. Let your technical team see you promoting their efforts within the company, and support them when working with other divisions.


While planning how to maximize their offerings to the company, don’t neglect keeping an eye on what makes your technical staff want to stay with your organization. Good technical personnel are in high demand and they know it. Turnover is very costly and can be extremely disruptive.

Additional Training

For more tips on managing technical personnel, you can search for and sign up for an eLearning course. In such a course, among other things, you should learn how to:

– Determine the best strategy for overcoming certain challenges of managing technical professionals;

– Apply strategies for building trust in specific given scenarios;

– Identify examples of motivational strategies to help Technical/IT staff work at their best.

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