After a discussion today, I wanted to post about a couple of ideas for helping managers keep their security teams engaged in the process.
Burn out is a very common thing in infosec, as it is in a lot of IT – especially in organizations today, when there is so much going on and so few resources to aim at the problems. Here are 3 quick ideas to help you fight burn out amongst the security team.
1. Training or Cross Training – Few things engage people more than learning a new skill, especially one that is new and interesting or that can really help them solve their work problems. Consider teaching a new skill like Perl scripting (or any other language) that might help them automate some of their tasks. If they embrace it, it can mean less work for them and more quality, repeatable results for the team. That is a pretty cool win/win. You might also consider swapping your team around and rotating their responsibilities where possible. Encourage large scale cross-training as way to keep things fresh and to keep new eyes on your common duties. Often times, this plays out well and can lead to some big new ideas or mechanisms that can have huge paybacks!
2. Engage in some branding – Create a team image that exudes confidence. Brand the team members with special events, shirts or other items. Let them name the team and encourage a few group events that establish trust and reinforce rapport. If appropriate, let them build an image around themselves as being “elite” or such. Those images are good for morale and good for building the internal image of you and your group – just make sure it stays realistic and doesn’t go to far.
3. Let some of your team rotate on pet projects – Has your team been bugging you about a new tool or process they need? Have they been asking to build a wiki to maintain their documentation or a new Intranet site for communication with other teams? If so, add it as a project, but communicate that they must rotate who works on it and set a maximum of 2 hours per week. Let them choose a project leader and have that person schedule the work on the pet project and report monthly status updates to the whole team. You just might be suprised how much they get done, and how much such a simple indulgence might reenergize some or all of them!
Leverage these 3 quick ideas to keep your team engaged and running on all cylinders. Got some other ideas you might have had success with? Post them as a comment and I will make sure they get added!