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  • It's shocking how little effort is often placed on mastering the art of business communication and keeping up with communication trends and technologies.

  • As reported by Baseline numerous times, the competition to hire top tech talent is getting brutal. But if you do end up landing that special performer—as a manager, team leader, analyst, developer or programmer—you may face challenges that seldom come up with the majority of workers. And, be warned, the challenges may try your patience—and your sanity. Hotshot tech professionals are often very aware that they're much more skilled than the rest of the staff, and they may eventually conclude that they'd rather "do their own thing" than work as part of a team. They may even challenge your authority and be convinced that they can do your job better than you can. Even if a superstar has a team-oriented attitude, he or she might jump ship after a short time if a sweeter offer came along. In a section of the recent book, The 27 Challenges Managers Face: Step-by-Step Solutions to (Nearly) All of Your Management Problems (Jossey-Bass/available now), author Bruce Tulgan provides insights and best practices for supervising, engaging and retaining top-notch employees. What's important, he writes, is to demonstrate a sincere regard for a superstar's capabilities and value, while working together on an extended plan for his or her future success. Tulgan is founder of Rainmaker Thinking, a management training firm. The following takeaways about managing a superstar are adapted from his book and should help you deal with the challenges you're sure to face.

  • Not every IT employee can develop into a leader of technology transformation, but you're more likely to get to that level if you know which steps to take. The book Leading Digital: Turning Technology into Business Transformation (Harvard Business Review Press/available now) offers a wide range of strategies and actions that professionals can pursue to become a digital authority. To further illustrate the best practices to follow, authors George Westerman, Didier Bonnet and Andrew McAfee feature real-life examples from organizations such as Burberry, Caesars Entertainment, Lloyds Banking Group and Nike. The book also includes original research that helps define a "digital master." In essence, the authors explain, digital masters excel at both the "what" of technology and the "how" of leading change. "Neither dimension is enough on its own," they write. "Taken together, they combine to give digital masters a clear advantage over their competitors." Westerman is a research scientist with the MIT Sloan Initiative on the Digital Economy. Bonnet is a global practice leader at Capgemini Consulting and executive sponsor for Capgemini Consulting's Digital Transformation program. McAfee is the associate director of the Center for Digital Business at the MIT Sloan School of Management. The following 11 ways to develop digital leadership are adapted from their book.

  • Developing an effective working relationship with your manager can help your productivity soar, improve your morale and enhance your career success.

  • Research shows that only 14 percent of companies have a female CEO, and women make up only 20 percent of the C-suite but fill 55 percent of administrative jobs.

  • A significant number of employees say they've been bullied on the job, according to a recent survey from CareerBuilder. Many have even left their company due to the problem, and a stunningly high percentage of physically disabled workers say they've been bullied at work—a finding that seems hard to fathom. What defines bullying? While often a gray area, it typically involves what CareerBuilder describes as a "gross lack of professionalism, consideration and respect" that involves "intimidation, personal insults or behavior that is more passive-aggressive." Whatever the form, these practices appear to affect a lot of professionals, regardless of their background or organizational standing. "Bullying impacts workers of all backgrounds, regardless of race, education, income and level of authority within an organization," says Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder. "Many of the workers who have experienced this don't confront the bully or elect not to report the incidents, which can prolong a negative work experience that leads some to leave their jobs." Clearly, bullying is a serious workplace issue that management must address. More than 3,370 employees took part in the research.

  • According to a recent survey, the best tech company in the world is not Google, Twitter or any of the other "usual suspects" that frequently dominate "best employer" lists. Instead, it's a company that specializes in the more traditional world of cloud-based human resources and finance applications. But don't worry: Google and Twitter still show up in this top 10 list, which was published by Great Place to Work's "Great Rated!" Companies were selected based on average scores provided by nearly 50,000 employee survey participants. Great Rated! has actually cited 20 companies overall, broken down into categories of large enterprises and small/medium businesses, but the following is the top 10 ranking. Given the well-reported struggles that organizations in all industries face in hiring qualified technology professionals, most could probably benefit from introducing at least some of the following cultural practices of these tech companies. (The cultural practices were compiled from news articles and online job reviews, as well as the companies' Websites.)

  • IT professionals should benefit significantly from a surge in job creation over the next few years, according to research published by Modis IT Staffing. The accompanying report, the "2015 Salary Guide for IT Professionals," predicts that the growth of new technology jobs being created will rise at a far higher rate than overall employment growth. In addition, women will account for a greater share of the overall IT workforce. It's also encouraging to learn that a significant number of U.S. men and women serving overseas consider technology the top vocational choice for their post-military careers, according to the survey. The guide breaks out a number of key IT niches for job growth—along with average salary figures within each niche—and we're presenting some of those statistics in the slideshow below. As a bonus, we're also including best practices for getting that perfect and well-paying tech job. Modis has based its findings on information obtained through a partnership with CareerBliss and its internal data, as well as that from local clients and IT professionals in the market.

  • While most employees surveyed said their company does recognize good work, loyalty and other accomplishments, they are not happy about how their organization handles recognition and rewards, according to a recent survey from the American Psychological Association's Center for Organizational Excellence. Only a minority of workers think recognition is applied fairly. And most feel that their employer falls short on rewards that really matter, such as fair compensation, raises, bonuses and career advancement. Managers should pay attention to these issues because research shows that engaged employees are more committed and productive. "Today, business success depends on sustainable workplace practices and a healthy, high-performing workforce," says Norman Anderson, CEO of the American Psychological Association. "Part of promoting employee well-being is demonstrating how their efforts contribute to the organization's success and recognizing them for their good work." On the encouraging side of the survey findings, most participants said these factors aren't crushing their morale, and they are generally satisfied with their job and are motivated to do their best. More than 880 workers took part in the research.

  • CEOs and business owners are placing more faith in IT leaders and their contributions, but that faith hasn't yet translated into perceived financial impact or valued-advisor status. These are the findings of a recent survey from global staffing and HR services firm Adecco Group. The company polled 500 CEOs and business owners, and the results indicate that IT leaders are rising in stature with top executives, but they still have work to do if they are to have a more powerful voice when it comes to major business decisions. For now, CIOs can take encouragement from the increased recognition and appreciation of their contributions. "One of the striking points of the survey has to be the level of confidence today's CEO is placing in the CIO," says Jack Cullen, president of Modis, Adecco's IT staffing subsidiary, which released a portion of the findings. "This is a ringing endorsement for a company's CIO." Especially encouraging is the healthy outlook on IT spending, which Cullen said is "deemed critical to the company's bottom line." That said, CEOs still aren't equating IT department success with actual bottom-line results to the extent that they do with other departments. And they are not including CIOs among their most trusted advisors.