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Staff morale among IT workers is at rock-bottom as companies have cut budgets and ditched staff in a bid to ride out the prolonged downturn in the industry. So says IT research and advice outfit Meta Group which reckons that companies should do more to lift the spirits of workers. Not only will staff be chirpier, such a move would also help improve the productivity of companies.

According to its study 2004 IT Staffing and Compensation Guide, seven in ten of the 650 companies surveyed said that having down-in-the-mouth IT workers was a "serious issue" that could threaten the future of those companies concerned.

In a bid to reverse the trend, half of those companies surveyed have already begun implementing employee recognition programmes in a bid to boost morale [you lucky, lucky people - ed], while four in ten are offering more skills training. However, only one in 20 companies is using hard cash to perk up glum workers.

Said report author Maria Schafer: "Working through this prolonged recession, which has seen budget cuts across the enterprise, numerous staff cutbacks, and general sector uncertainty, has definitely taken its toll on IT employee morale.

"The combination of these factors creates a difficult situation for the IT organisation: productivity is hurt by having fewer people, fewer investment dollars for projects, and a perception that companies do not focus on retention." ®

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