5 team-building tips for IT

Team dynamics can mean the difference between a healthy work environment and a toxic one.

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Photo collage: Stephen Sauer

IT talent can be hard to find and even harder to keep – which means there’s plenty of incentive to make the workplace attractive to technology pros. Culture is paramount, and focusing on organizational development can lead to more satisfied and productive workers.

“I got very interested in this subject early on in my career,” says IT veteran Jackie Barretta, who today works as a consultant, writer and speaker to help teams boost innovation and achievement.

Barretta spent 15 years in the IT department at Con-Way, including six years as CIO of the logistics company. The culture that IT leaders created at Con-Way “became one of the most important things we ever did, as important as anything technological,” Barretta recalls. “People heard about our culture, they heard about the great things they would be able to do not only from a technology perspective but also from a team perspective. We attracted exceptional people, and the way that we led them just brought out their best.”

When an emphasis on process efficiency began to take precedence over culture, Barretta decided to leave corporate IT and pursue a different path. Today she’s a founding partner of Nura Group, a consulting firm that helps companies strengthen team performance. Many of her engagements are with IT departments. Some clients seek help with a technical problem, others want organizational assistance. Regardless, “there’s always a big element of team building that’s part of it,” Barretta says.

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