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Improving IT Worker Efficiency and Morale with Remote DBA

Author: Robin Caputo | | June 17, 2014

Creating a positive workplace can play a key role in employee retention. Organizations with satisfied, happy employees find they are able to attract and keep talented staff.

Strategic outsourcing can be an effective means of enhancing the workplace satisfaction of permanent employees.

“Highly engaged employees are innovative, loyal, and they’re far less likely to leave,”

says John Rivard, research director for infrastructure and operations at Gartner. These employees also help attract other top IT talent to the organization.

How do you achieve this? There are many ways to ensure your staff is engaged. Experts say providing real recognition – via personalized rewards for innovation and employee initiative, for example – is extremely helpful in this regard.

Simple Gestures

Rivard says sometimes a simple gesture can mean a great deal, as a client told him. When a company was launching a new data center, the project took employees and managers away from their families on weekends and late nights. One team member close to his family found the project particularly difficult. When the project had wrapped, the project manager sent flowers to the employee’s wife to thank her and the family for their support and to acknowledge the hardship they all experienced during the project. The seemingly simple gesture was appreciated and made a challenging project worthwhile, Rivard’s client reported.

Another key aspect of workplace satisfaction is making certain there is adequate staffing to keep pace with daily tasks and successfully complete projects. When there are vacancies or skills gaps identified among database professionals, executives need to carefully determine an approach to address them.

Strategic Hiring

Strategic hiring can help in the process, but it involves more than filling vacant seats. Organizations may, for example, identify a highly specialized skill needed for a one-off project. Strategic outsourcing can be a means to address that type of staffing issue while simultaneously improving morale.

Remote database services, for example, can help increase or augment in-house expertise. Remote services expand coverage while saving money and providing flexible staffing that scales with need. It can also help improve morale by freeing core staff to work on key projects and keeping the team working in the roles for which they were hired, rather than pulling them from their responsibilities to put out fires.

Continual coverage, for example, can be better implemented with assistance from a remote services provider. Datavail wants to eliminate the stress typically associated with providing 24/7 coverage by working in partnership with organizations to provide around-the-clock support. Peter DePaula, an Oracle database administrator for Datavail, explains:

We want to relieve the 24/7 syndrome. The way we do that is by having both offshore support and onshore support. And that’s a great model. That’s the best way to work as a database administrator because you don’t have to get up at 2 or 3 in the morning. The work is being done while you’re resting so you can get up in the morning and focus on your day. And that’s attractive to database administrators.

Input From Employees

What’s also attractive is seeking input from current staff. Their opinion and observations can play an important role in identifying skill shortages and recruiting new talent, says Rivard. They can, for example, make suggestions about changes in the enterprise’s talent strategy, he says. Engaging them in any initiatives and strategic staffing changes can also help improve the workplace’s culture and morale.

Says Rivard:

If you communicate that you are trying to improve the quality of talent [and] that you’re trying to improve employee engagement, you have to start with what you have. Acknowledge that you’ll need their help to get there, and actively work to incorporate their feedback. If you don’t have the talent to meet today’s needs, you certainly won’t have the talent to meet tomorrow’s needs.

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