For you as a managed IT business owner, the tech team is both your main asset and your main cost driver. It's they who solve most of the daily issues and outline and manage new projects. Hence, if one of your technicians decides to leave, it will take you months to hire, if not a better, at least as good a specialist. And let's not forget that any new team member should be properly onboarded.
If you have ever lost a prospective team member or are afraid of losing one, read on. In this article, we discuss why your tech staffers might leave you and how to fix it.
#1 Lack of Growth
A talented technician needs growth and challenge. You should think of a possible career plan for each of your team members. Otherwise, once they reach the ceiling in your company, they will start searching for a better job. For sure, if your team is highly loyal, they will ask you about their promotion possibilities. But any human being thinks first and foremost about themselves, and not you and your business opportunities.
So, from the day you land your first employee, think about their growth. You should provide a clear career path and be open to their demands. Otherwise, you will see a high employee turnover, which will have a bad effect on your operations.
Further reading MSP Employee Retention: Three Areas of Improvement
#2 Incorrect Scope of Work
The term “burnout” was popular in the mass media about ten years ago, but was subsequently forgotten. However, now, if you read through any professional Facebook or Reddit group, you will see a lot of people discussing being burned out in their jobs. Needless to say, a burned-out employee is not merely inefficient; he or she might also be more prone to errors and faults.
What leads to burnout in the workplace? Here are two main factors:
- Routine. Of course, any job includes lots of routine operations, but it should not consist solely of these mundane, boring tasks. Let’s say you have a tier-1 team member who is only answering support calls and creating tickets. Each week for 40 hours straight, they’re answering mostly boring and sometimes stupid questions and their only task is to create a ticket and then pass it on. After a couple of months, such an employee will get bored and tired and will probably hate their job. So, it’s advisable to rotate tier-1 employees and give them an opportunity to work on different tasks – solving tickets themselves, discussing more complex issues with higher tiers, and so on.
- Too much work. If you have a highly skilled technician, capable of doing more work than others, you might start to give them more and more tasks. Of course, this is challenging and even enticing for a high scorer but, in time, they will get tired and feel overworked – and you will end up losing your best team member.
#3 Feeling of Disconnection
If you are running a small team, the chances are that you, as an owner, are doing a lot for your business. You manage the most important clients and projects, you do the sales and marketing, you also answer the phone and even do onboarding for some clients. And the rest of your team is left on their own managing routine issues without your guidance and participation. Moreover, they feel disconnected from your company, since you devote no time to growing the corporate culture and stating your mission to them.
If you want your team to truly become a team of engaged specialists, you should work at it. Keep personal contact, guide and teach them how to solve issues and communicate with each other and your clients, in order to set the same standards. You should also discuss your projects with them. And when you onboard a new client, introduce your team to that client. All that will set up a basis for your corporate culture and strengthen the feeling of attachment to your team across your tech staffers.
#4 Lack of Benefits
If you are only a startup managed IT provider, you typically cannot guarantee your team the same compensation package that they would get on an enterprise-grade job. However, as you grow, you should monitor what your competition is offering to their employees, including regular promotions, bonuses, and other incentives, so as not to lose the best of your people.
Further reading How to Keep Your Employees Happy?
#5 Toxic Workspace
A toxic atmosphere does not necessarily mean that your team is rude to each other. For example, if they are not welcoming newcomers and helping to onboard them, that might be seen as toxic. Your team has its own language habits, jokes, rules of conduct, and other cultural habits that won't necessarily be understandable from the outside. If you have several teams, it might be that they have different cultures. And any new team members should be introduced to that culture. Otherwise, they might feel awkward and discouraged.
Further reading 5 Actions MSPs Can Take to Retain Top Talent
How MSPs Can Prevent Technicians from Quitting
Some managed IT providers tend to think, ”We’re all grown-ups here,” and that people should manage their problems by themselves, even if that involves bullying or depression. However, if you as a business owner don't care about your people, why should they care about your business? Here are some tips to prevent your team from falling apart:
Compensation is not the cornerstone. First and foremost, if you cannot afford a high salary and regular rises, don't panic. Most people need interesting, challenging work and a healthy working environment. No amount of money will keep your techs engaged if they are bullied or when the job is boring and mundane.
Involve your team. Your tech team should feel that they are a structural component, the basis of your business. So allow them to work on projects, discuss your growth potential and new prospects with them and give them as much responsibility as possible. That will create a feeling of attachment, and your team will be more loyal.
Gather feedback. Meet your team regularly and openly discuss everything that they might not like about working in your company.
Where possible, work out fair compensation and fix the issues mentioned above to enhance your employees' experience and improve their satisfaction. Money is not the cornerstone, it’s true, but as you grow and can afford to pay people more, do so, and don't forget to offer better conditions. They will appreciate it.