Geeks 'glummin' it' in IT department

How is morale in the world of IT? Let's put it this way: Jacques Cousteau never dared go down that far.

If you've noticed that you're smiling less and snarling more at work, you are not alone. It's official: IT professionals as a whole are not happy campers these days.

Meta Group Inc. recently asked 650 companies about how things are going for their IT employees. The responses were not encouraging. Nearly three-quarters of the respondents said morale is so bad in IT that it's become a serious issue for their company.

Years of recession, budget cuts and layoffs have pushed overworked IT-types close to the edge. To head off an IT mutiny, Meta, a Stamford, Conn., consulting firm, recommends a "proactive" approach. Presumably, "proactive" means more raises, more bodies and more money for projects.

Interestingly, executives from companies responding to the survey didn't mention any of those things when they were asked about the kinds of things they are doing to try to drop the "dis" from their dissatisfied, disheartened and dispirited employees.

Many enterprises do, however, serve up incentives. Almost half of the responding businesses say they've established employee-recognition programs as a way to boost morale, and 40% are giving their IT workers opportunities to gain new skills.

And while career-enhancing programs (23%) and professional-development offerings (10%) are being used by some to boost morale, only a handful of respondents -- 4% out of the pool of IT managers at the 650 companies surveyed -- dangled monetary incentives in front of their IT charges.

It seems as though a lack of green has more than a few in IT seeing red.

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