We interviewed Iván Balatonyi, head of the T&M department at INNObyte, to find out, amongst others, what challenges are involved in managing the T&M department, how remote management can be effective, and how to understand the motivations of IT staff. Our recently launched series aims to introduce our colleagues who work day in and day out to ensure that INNObyte provides a high standard of service to its clients as quickly as possible. All previous interviews are available HERE.

 

You've been responsible for the T&M department at INNObyte for two years. What exactly does this position involve?

 

Simply put, it involves looking after and overseeing the reporting process of colleagues who are typically rented out to external companies as resources. So these experts aren't in-house staff and are working relatively remotely, which presents one of the toughest challenges in this area. Keeping in touch with colleagues hasn't been easy, particularly in this period characterised by the COVID-19 pandemic. As INNObyte's experts work in a completely separate external work environment, this area is of utmost importance.

 

How can you maintain a healthy relationship with a colleague who is assigned to an external location?

 

I'm a firm believer in the power of face-to-face contact and interactions. A healthy employee relationship is definitely based on a good personal relationship as well. Of course, one of the benefits of home office arrangements that have become the norm due to the pandemic is that everyone has become much more flexible when it comes to communicating in the digital space, but the essence of human contact, standing face-to-face and talking to each other, is missing. Going out for a nice cup of coffee can greatly strengthen the casual and superficial relationships developed in the online space. Essentially, INNObyte isn't simply a workplace, it's more than that: for us, it's important to have a cohesive force, one that allows our team to cooperate easily and clearly in working towards a common goal, while sharing the same values.

 

How can you manage the personal aspect of your work, and how can you gauge not only quantitative, but also qualitative and personal indicators?

 

I can manage quantitative areas very precisely, as in this case we are dealing with numbers and systems, as well as data derived from various systems and diverse sets of information. The qualitative part and personal matters are much harder aspects to grasp, since outsourced resources and colleagues don't work in the same work environment as we do, and you can only gain input from feedback and from information derived from conversations. This, as I've said, is a challenge. Personal aspects can be deduced from communication, i.e. intonation and tone of voice, while paying attention to and being aware of how many internal and external projects the colleague is currently working on, how much pressure he or she is under, etc. This is something you need to feel and have an eye for, and this is where empathy comes in handy, which is crucial in this area.

 

How is INNObyte different from other IT companies?

 

It's certainly different in two aspects, as revealed by the surveys: there's an incredible sense of unity and great respect for the work, profession and personality of others, and also the roots and long-term cooperation on past projects provide a strong foundation for the company. The cohesive force of successful cooperation on past assignments has an impact on future projects as well. Of course, the common past isn't the case with everyone as there are many new hires, but still, this network of connections is engrained in the entire company. What I usually say is that a company is as strong and stable as its network of relationships.

 

What do you love the most about your work?

 

I believe that my responsibilities are flexible and diverse. Challenges arise all the time, and I'm sure that there will indeed be a lot of projects and responsibilities going forward, along with a number of challenges that I can help overcome.

 

How have you benefited from working for an IT company?

 

On the one hand, I find it exciting to see the things you can work on in the future and, on the other hand, IT is a dynamically growing industry. Technologies, programming languages and approaches change from one moment to the next, and so there's always something to learn. Understanding the motivation of colleagues working in these areas is an exciting challenge for me. If you are able to do this well, then you can truly improve the efficiency of your company's operation. You can deal with a number of things, and you can provide an excellent support system and good pay, but understanding and realising what motivates different colleagues within the company is just as important, and this is something that really interests me.