5 Ways Tech Workers Want To Be Appreciated On National IT Professionals Day

Happy #ITProDay

Steven Lerner

Tuesday, September 18 marks National IT Professionals Day in 2018. The holiday was created by business software company SolarWinds in 2015 as a way to pay tribute to the hard work and contributions of IT professionals on staff. It is observed every third Tuesday in September.

Professionals observe the holiday by thanking their IT co-workers for keeping everything running smoothly in the business. Although they have many different titles, IT workers are the backbone of an enterprise’s digital transformation. They are responsible for testing apps, solving hardware malfunctions, monitoring networks, analyzing security flaws, and numerous other tasks.

Senior technology executives are already planning to honor their team members on National IT Professionals Day.

“I will be ordering lunch for the entire team to show my appreciation for their hard work,” said Rizwan Jan, vice president and chief information officer for the Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine. “Throughout the year, I always try to show my appreciation from lunch, to team building happy hour events, or reward them with an extra vacation day for a ‘job well’ done on a specific project.”

How IT Workers Want To Be Appreciated

It is no secret that some IT employees feel neglected by their peers for all of the incredible work that they do. How do IT professionals want to be appreciated? Enterprise Mobility Exchange solicited opinions from a group of anonymous IT workers (including one suggestion from an anonymous vice president of IT who is honoring employees) to learn the best ways that businesses should acknowledge the IT professionals that make our lives easier:

1. The simplest way is to say, "You have a pretty thankless job, but you need to know that we understand how vital your knowledge is to keeping our business running. We couldn't do it without you."

2. Lunch and acknowledgment of the hard work we do when there is an issue.

3. I've had to work some pretty late nights dealing with emergencies, and having the boss walk up with a good cup of coffee, ask how it's going and then give a simple, "Thank you for being here," and going away to let me work. It goes a long, long way to feeling appreciated.

4. The biggest thing that had me feeling horrible about some previous jobs was that I felt I wasn’t respected or appreciated. Nothing was done to show appreciation for the IT department. What made it worse was all complaints were accepted by management instead of standing up for our team. We were always up against a wall with no support at all. Actually caring and listening and respecting people as people because they are people should be the first step, but that is the one step that often gets overlooked.

5. Money will be the obvious answer (bonus or increases), but any and all recognition is good. Some (non-monetary) things I've done:

  • Food for any off-hours work. Order something in, provide snacks and energy drinks, whatever.
  • Weekend or late night work is always better with snacks. Announced recognition. A bit trickier because not everyone likes to be publicly acknowledged, but most people are fine with seeing appreciation in a company-wide email or newsletter.
  • Small spot gifts: gift cards, sports tickets, show tickets, etc. Company swag: T-shirts, jackets, etc.
  • Comp time paid out for unexpected late nights or weekend work.
  • Necessary tools: cell phone, laptop, and software.

In the end, it is imperative that organizations take the time to praise their IT workers and make them feel welcome. That all begins with acknowledging the hard work of IT professionals.

“Acknowledging employees is key to positive moral, motivation, happiness, and fostering an upbeat culture,” said Jan.