4 ways to keep tech talent energized

If companies want to compete in a rough-and-tumble global economy, they need to foster an innovative and collaborate workplace for their IT talent. Here's how.

Notice to all technology professionals and managers out there: Companies are going to lean on you harder and harder to pave new paths to profitability.They want you to show them how to data-mine their information to discover what their customers are thinking; they want you to set up dashboards that alert them to new sales opportunities; they want you to streamline their customer service centers.

So, tech professionals hold a lot of leverage right now -- even though their companies may not treat them that way.

With this in mind, Tom Guenette of FreeCause outlines the four essentials of keeping technology employees motivated and happy with their working situations.  And, no, throwing more money at them isn't one of them. (Though some may disagree.)

Here are his pointers, discussed in Boston.com, followed by my reactions:

Stimulating technology: Keep it fresh, encourage new approaches and learning new tools to solve business and technology problems. Who wants maintenance day in and day out?

Opportunity to innovate: Your IT people are among the smartest in the bunch -- put that talent to work solving problems across the enterprise, outside as well as inside IT.

Recognition and praise: Almost too obvious to include in such a list, but still lacking in many organizations. a little "thank you" goes a long way. (And, again, some would argue for financial compensation.)

Comfortable surroundings: Google seems to be the gold mine in this regard, with a campus with more fun stuff and amenities than a college campus. You don't have to recreate DisneyWorld, but taking away the uptightness and fostering a relaxed, collegial setting will go a long way. It's about accomplishing great things, not cracking whips to maintain some sort of status quo.

So there's four.  Missing anything?  Yes, I know -- better compensation, tied to the additional success brought to the organization. Should this be #5 on Guenette's list, or even #1?  And what else?

(Photo: Wikipedia.)